NC National Guardsman recounts Harvey helicopter rescues, is now readying for Irma

SALISBURY, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina National Guard members who traveled to Texas to help rescue people suffering the effects of Hurricane Harvey are back home, and they are already preparing for the next storm.

They are keeping a close watch on Hurricane Irma and the possibility that it could impact the East Coast.

As for what the crew saw in Texas, North Carolina National Guard Cpt. Aaron Mahoney got a clear view of what was left after Hurricane Harvey.

“I’m just going to remember the things I’ve seen, seeing houses with only roofs,” he said. “Just seeing the devastation of what water can actually do and what Mother Nature has in store for it.”

Mahoney was one of the helicopter pilots for the Aquatic Response teams from North Carolina that went to Texas to rescue and help those impacted by the storm.

“A lot of what we were doing was just moving people from bad situations to better situations,” Mahoney said. “There was a school that we helped assist in an evacuation.”

The group made at least 25 rescues while helping at the Gulf Coast.

But, as much as Mahoney will remember what he saw in Texas, he also must keep an eye to the future as another storm is in the Atlantic and its destination is unknown.

“We’ve been watching Irma,” he said. “We started tracking it as soon as we saw that it could come this way. If it does come to North Carolina, we’re ready for it.”

As for Harvey, there also were members of the NC Highway Patrol and rescue technicians from North Carolina who went to Texas to help.

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