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Nebraska search and rescue team in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona



Friday is day four for members of Nebraska’s urban search and rescue team who are deployed in Puerto Rico to help with the response to Hurricane Fiona.Capt. Dan Ripley, who spoke to reporters Friday, said the team of 45 people has been actively engaged in search operations the past few days.”Then that’s been our main focus is to then relay that intel back to our FEMA upper command staff,” Ripley said.He said communication has been a big challenge due to power outages, but satellite phones are really helping with that.Ripley also said crews have come across a lot of washed-out roads and mudslides”We may get into an area where we think we can drive farther but due to the roads being washed out, we’re having to get out on foot and continue our assessment of any search and rescue needs,” Ripley saidThe team’s focus includes getting power turned back on and water being declared safe for people to use so locals can return to their communities.”Different areas are moving at different paces to get that re-established,” Ripley said.He doesn’t know when his team will come back from Puerto Rico but he said they’re prepared to be there for 14 to 21 days. “We hope that when we leave Puerto Rico, we’ve left them with a little bit of hope that they didn’t have before. We hope that we’ve left them with an understanding that people care about them and that we were here to help them,” Ripley said.More Hurricane Fiona coverage

Friday is day four for members of Nebraska’s urban search and rescue team who are deployed in Puerto Rico to help with the response to Hurricane Fiona.

Capt. Dan Ripley, who spoke to reporters Friday, said the team of 45 people has been actively engaged in search operations the past few days.

“Then that’s been our main focus is to then relay that intel back to our FEMA upper command staff,” Ripley said.

He said communication has been a big challenge due to power outages, but satellite phones are really helping with that.

Ripley also said crews have come across a lot of washed-out roads and mudslides

“We may get into an area where we think we can drive farther but due to the roads being washed out, we’re having to get out on foot and continue our assessment of any search and rescue needs,” Ripley said

The team’s focus includes getting power turned back on and water being declared safe for people to use so locals can return to their communities.

“Different areas are moving at different paces to get that re-established,” Ripley said.

He doesn’t know when his team will come back from Puerto Rico but he said they’re prepared to be there for 14 to 21 days.

“We hope that when we leave Puerto Rico, we’ve left them with a little bit of hope that they didn’t have before. We hope that we’ve left them with an understanding that people care about them and that we were here to help them,” Ripley said.

More Hurricane Fiona coverage



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