Coast Guard personnel reflect upon a busy hurricane season

Air Station Elizabeth City helped out after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WVEC) -- Thursday marks the end of the devastating 2017 hurricane season. Strong storms like Harvey, Irma, and Maria lashed parts of the United States and its territories with record-shattering rain and floods that damaged hundreds of homes.

The Coast Guard played a huge role in helping people recover.

"We were everywhere throughout Texas, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Puerto Rico," said C-130 pilot LT Lars Anderson. "We went into the Virgin Islands a couple of times."

Their motto is Semper Paratus, which is Latin for, "always ready." And good thing, especially during this hurricane season.

Throughout the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast and Caribbean, the Coast Guard made its presence felt.

"This is what we want to do," said Senior Chief Bob Florisi, a rescue swimmer. "We want to go out and save lives. We want to go out and help people. We don't want people to be in trouble. But we do what we can to help them when they are."

During this busy hurricane season, about 100 Air Station Elizabeth City personnel in their their C-130's and their MH-60's completed 38 rescues, transported nearly 1,100 people and the delivered more than 1.2 million pounds of supplies to affected communities.

"Really a good day for us is a bad day for anybody else," said LT Tyler Monez, an MH-60 pilot. "We're there when the worst happens to somebody."

AT3 Monique Pluard said it was an intense time, but she's glad she got to be a part of it.

"I am absolutely thrilled I was able to do it. It's something I can always look back on for the rest of my career."

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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