Coast Guard assists fight against flood, we view damage from the air

As volunteers continue to monitor the flooding from the ground, United States Coast Guard search and rescue crews are monitoring the situation from the sky and providing aerial updates of our levee systems.

"There were a couple of breaches," said Lt. Cmdr. Neal Corbin.  "One was on the Missouri side, and two were on the Illinois side.  There are lots of small towns that are completely devastated by this flooding."

Lt. Cmdr. Corbin says he’s noticed a drastic change in the Len Small Levee.  "It probably had opened to 400 to 500 feet by today," he said.

Aviation Survival Technician Nicholas Litchfield is using his view from above to spot hurdles to their ultimate goal.  "There’s a lot of debris in the water still, and we also noticed there is no vessel traffic," said AST2 Litchfield.  "It’s very important to make sure that the river opens back up, and allow the commercial traffic to do what they do."

From above, the flood looks like utter devastation, but Lt. Cmdr. Corbin says there is still hope.

"It looks like the river level has dropped a little bit based on just flying along and seeing the water heights.  its receded a little bit, so things are improving," said Lt. Cmdr. Corbin.

Coast Guard crews remain on 24 hour standby, and will continue to follow the flood waters downstream and help out where they are needed.  If you become stranded Coat Guard crew members say it’s important to stay out of the water, which can quickly cause hypothermia, as temperatures in the area hover around freezing.

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