Goldsboro water rescue teams on stand-by with tropical system along coast

Flooding in Wayne County after Hurricane Matthew. Photo contributed by Renee Best Bryan.

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — At the Goldsboro Fire Department, there are swift water rescue boats in position as a possible tropical storm lurks off the Carolina coast.

“Especially me, looking back at what’s going on now, all I can do is think ‘here we go again’,” said Capt. Don Collins, Goldsboro Fire, one of the swift water rescue team members.

Wayne County emergency officials said they are expecting between two to five inches of rain between 3 a.m. and noon Tuesday.

Collins was there when Hurricane Matthew flooded parts of the city last year.

“When the water has got you, there’s no getting out of it,” said Collins.  “It can strip the clothes completely off of you.  I was involved in one of the rescues that we had and the victim that we got, the clothes had been completely taken off.”

Goldsboro Resident Harold Isler also was there and had to leave his home when the water got too high.  A nearby home on Winslow Circle is still condemned.

“I have been through a storm and, if God gets you in the storm, he’s going to get you out of it,” said Isler.

With the swift water rescue boats, the fire department has a way to get people out, too.  The fire department bought them during Matthew to help rescue people during the storm.

“We’re going to have teams on standby, just in case,” said Eric Lancaster, Goldsboro Assistant Fire Chief.  “Like I say, we want the residents out there to be vigilant.”

He urged people not to drive through the water and to call 911 if people feel they are in trouble.

Isler said he’s keeping watch.

“We’re riding out this storm,” he said.  “We’re going to ride it out.  There’s no doubt about that.”

In addition to possible heavy rain, officials are also expecting wind gusts up to 35 miles an hour.

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