HIGH POINT, N.C. - The High Point Fire Department is getting back to normal after Hurricane Florence ripped across the Carolinas.
On September 11th, the State of North Carolina asked the High Point Fire Department to assist with storm deployment.
"I had a total of 60 people that wanted to go out of the 211 that are on our fire department staff," said Tim Wright, High Point Fire Department Deputy Chief. "For that amount of interest to come back and for people willing to go down there, knowing the situation that they were going into, I am very proud of them."
The High Point Fire Department responded to the call of duty, sending a total of two fire trucks and nine volunteer firefighters to Columbus County, N.C.
For seven days, crews battled heavy rainfall, strong wind, and deep floodwaters,
"You just cannot imagine what went on down there," said Wright. "It was heartbreaking a lot of times. It's amazing what Mother Nature is capable of doing. The power of water is amazing."
The High Point Fire Department assisted Whiteville fire crews with about 200 water rescues.
When Hurricane Florence hit, firefighters began rescuing people of all ages trapped in or around floodwaters.
"It was anywhere from 3-year-olds to 70-year-olds," said Sam Hughes, Fire Equipment Operator with the High Point Fire Department. "A lot of people just thought that they could make it through the floodwaters and they got stranded in their vehicles. Other people just did not want to leave their homes."
Fire rescues also responded to several animals in distress due to floodwaters, including dogs, cats, and horses.
The High Point Fire Department is sending a warning to the public to never underestimate the power of water.
"Do not go into the water. It is not safe," said Clinton Whitten, Firefighter EMT. "It does not matter if it is a foot deep or waist deep, just stay out of it."