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Best of 2017 @WORK HELICOPTERS


CRITICAL TO RESCUES, RECOVERY AS SERIES OF RECORD-BREAKING HURRICANES HIT U.S.


By Joanna Dodder Nellans


The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season set numerous records, and none of them were good. Most came in the one-two- three punch from Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The massive rescue efforts depended heavily on helicopter resources since hundreds of thousands of people faced widespread flooding across the Gulf Coast, Florida, and Puerto Rico.


This season was the first time in recorded history (since 1851) that two Category 4-5 hurricanes struck the U.S. mainland in the same year, and first time that three Cat 4-5 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, and Maria) bashed the U.S. and


54 Nov/Dec 2017


its territories in one year. Irma is the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic and the longest-lasting hurricane ever recorded on the planet. This year also is the first time since 1893 that 10 consecutive Atlantic storms morphed into hurricanes.


Facing a mind-boggling 122,000 victims who needed to be rescued across 182,000 acres of flooded neighborhoods, air rescues were critical when Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, especially when it stalled and dumped a record 51 inches of torrential rain in three days.


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