South Bound Brook Flood Helicopters

channel 2 TV news helicopter
channel 7 TV news helicopter

Hooray for the news media, waking me up at 6:30 with three or four helicopters!   You can just make out the cameras mounted on the front.

NYPD helicopter with monsoon bucket

The New York Police Department was kind enough to send a helicopter over the border with a monsoon bucket to fight the fire in the Harley Davison motorcycle store.

I had several people express their regret that, of all stores that could have gone up in flames, it had to be that one!

I imagine that it's fairly risky flying this sort of mission.   Not only do you have a very heavy weight making the aircraft more difficult to fly, but you have to drop very low to get water, and you're picking it up from the swiftly flowing river which caused the problem in the first place, with tree branches and logs moving right along with the water, ready to snag on the bucket.

My landlord's friend, who lives very close to the stores which burned down, said his house shook whenever the water in the monsoon bucket was dropped onto the fire.

You can see some much better quality photographs of fire-fighting helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from the USA, Russia and Europe on the Fire-Fighting Aircraft page.

NYPD helicopter with monsoon bucket among telegraph wires
army Huey with monsoon bucket and guy hanging out the side

A state of emergency had been declared in New Jersey, and President Clinton had already cut short a trip to - of all places - New Zealand.   So the National Guard and various other branches of the military were ready to come in and help out.

Huey with monsoon bucket and guy hanging out
Huey with monsoon bucket and guy hanging out
Huey with monsoon bucket
Blackhawk helicopter

And it wasn't just the National Guard, either.   Here's an army Blackhawk, ready to land troops in case some wicked foreign power decided to take advantage of this tragic situation by invading South Bound Brook!

Heck, there was even a helicopter gunship flying around with shark's teeth and a big gun, ready to mow down commies, or looters, or anyone else who shouldn't be there!

Huey cobra gunship
Coast Guard helicopter

Not to be outdone, here's the Coast Guard.   After all, a river is water, isn't it?  So why not?