How do rescue teams search a flooded city?

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Author's Note: How do rescue teams search a flooded city?

While researching this article I came across an article that described how rescuers floated over the vehicle of a woman and her two daughters, trapped and drowned, while rescuing someone clinging to a tree. This poignant image, of help come too late, of water too murky to reveal its captives, has stuck with me through the week. As has the newfound knowledge that floodwater is the leading cause of weather-related death in the U.S. How many rescue personnel are trained in water rescue (which sounds like a surprisingly complicated affair) in cities not prone to frequent floods? My guess is not nearly enough.

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  • Associated Press. "Four Dead After Flash Floods in Pittsburgh." NBC News. Aug. 20, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Associated Press. "Rain, Traffic, Land Contribute to Deadly Pennsylvania Flood." USA Today. Aug. 20, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Environmental Protection Agency. "Flooding." (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Hurricane Katrina Relief. "FAQs." (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • IRIN. "How to Rescue People From a Flood." Jan. 31, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • KDKA. "Rescue Equipment, Training Put in Place After Washington Boulevard Flash Flooding." CBS Pittsburgh. Sept. 8, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • National Flood Insurance Program. "Flood Facts." (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Navratil, Liz. "Rescue Training Pays Off During Flooding in Pittsburgh." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. July 12, 2013. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • North Carolina Department of Public Safety. "Swiftwater/Flood Search and Rescue Team Equipment." (Aug. 24, 2013),000010,000023,000487,000597,001741,001751
  • Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. "Flooding Safety Tips." (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Schleifstein, Mark. "Study of Hurricane Katrina's Dead Show Most Were Old, Lived Near Levee Breaches." The Times Picayune. Oct. 8, 2009. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • Turnbull, Michael J. "A Troubling Paradox." Fire Chief. July 1, 2011. (Aug. 24, 2013)
  • United States Geological Survey. "What Is Hydrology and What Do Hydrologists Do?" (Aug. 24, 2013)

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