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Dream to fly led Richland County deputy to rescue 39 people during Hurricane Maria
(Posted: Friday, Aug 31, 2018)

Javier Figueroa needed to get to the helicopter.

Rain from Hurricane Maria had pounded Puerto Rico for two days, flooding and incapacitating swaths of the island. From his helicopter, Figueroa saw more than the storm’s destruction.

Amongst the ravages of the storm, he saw people huddling on their roofs. “No matter trees, power lines or waters, (it was about) saving lives,” Figueroa said. “It was difficult conditions, but in this moment, I didn’t care.” Figueroa is now a helicopter pilot with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. But a year ago, he was a member of the Puerto Rico Police Department when Hurricane Maria hit the island as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 21. Just this week, the official death toll from the storm in the U.S. territory rose to 2,975.

Today, he tracks suspects and patrols crime scenes from the skies. Last September, he rescued 39 people in one day from the hurricane’s devastation.

Read more here: https://www.thestate.com/news/local/article217569945.html#storylink=cpy

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