Tennessee National Guard responds to severe flooding in Kentucky

Arial imagery of the flooding in eastern Kentucky taken by Tennessee Army National Guard aircrew, July 28. (submitted photo)

Tennessee Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, announced yesterday that five Blackhawk helicopters from the Tennessee Army National Guard are supporting state, county, and local emergency responders assisting citizens of Kentucky impacted by flash flooding.

Governor Bill Lee authorized Tennessee guardsmen to provide this critical air-rescue support in eastern Kentucky in coordination with the Tennessee and Kentucky Emergency Management Agencies. Through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, states can request relief and recovery support from other states during and after disasters.

Two UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters from Nashville’s 1-230th Assault Helicopter Battalion have deployed to Jackson, Kentucky, to assist with rescue operations. One helicopter is the Tennessee National Guard’s Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team comprised of rescue divers from the Nashville Fire Department. The second rescue helicopter is working with the Nashville Fire Department’s swift water rescue team.

Three medical evacuation Blackhawk helicopters from Task Force MEDEVAC, stationed in Louisville, Tennessee, have also been activated to assist with rescues. Each aircraft is equipped with an emergency hoist system, water rescue baskets, exposure suits, and swift water trained medics and aircrew.

The Tennessee National Guard will continue to work with local and state emergency management officials to assist in rescue efforts and will regularly provide public updates.