Armored vehicles credited to saving flood victims - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Armored vehicles credited to saving flood victims

Major Michael Nunn Major Michael Nunn

FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Numerous rescues that happened during the flooding are being credited to military style equipment obtained by law enforcement.

"We obtain them for the sole reason of being able to respond in emergencies, just like the one we had," Major Michael Nunn, spokesperson for the Florence County Sheriff’s Office said.

The sheriff’s office picked up a MRAP, and a few Humvees in 2013. It also got a helicopter earlier this year.

This military gear came at no cost to the department.

When the Humvees were first acquired, some people raised questions about the need for such equipment.

"Well what we said then and what we have hopefully proven now is that this equipment is used solely for defensive purposes, it's to protect life and to have the capability to remove people from danger," Nunn said.

Deputies said the gear was an integral part of their response across Florence County.

"There would have been literally no other way to get to these people that we are aware of, without the use of these vehicles," Nunn said.

The helicopter gave emergency officials an aerial view of what was happening, but also determined a plan for the recovery phase.

"It was also used to fly FEMA damage assessors around the county so that they could get a better picture of the extent of the damage. We believe that it helped expedite the actual deceleration and the FEMA reimbursement for our people get reimbursement for their damages," Nunn said.

The sheriff's office is also thanking the men and women who operated the equipment and stood guard to keep Florence County safe.

"They worked hours on end, days on end and they never complained. They really did make a difference in people's lives here in Florence County,” Nunn said.

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