Hydratrek heads to Gulf Coast to help in rescue efforts

A group of men from Covington, Tennessee is on their way to the Gulf Coast to help members of Tennessee Task Force One in their rescue efforts. 
The men work for a company created since Katrina, and their efforts could save thousands more lives.

The invention is called Hydratrek and the men headed to the coast hope their new land-water vehicle will come in handy in the task force's rescue efforts.

The land-water vehicle, the Hydratrek, looks like something out of the space age.

Many hope its ability to go from land to water will help get Gulf Coast residents to safer ground.

"A lot of circumstances where its flooded, you never know what's underneath and you can transfer from the land to the water, make the rescue, come back out and travel down the land," said inventor Louis Gaither.

Seven men from as far away as Kentucky left Covington on Sunday.

They're taking four of the Hydratrek units to areas hardest hit by Hurricane Gustav.

"Its easy on the people - the folks we go to rescue would feel more comfort trying to get into something like this than a small John boat full of everything," said Jack Rickett with Feed the Children.
Rickett was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and says a Hydratrek would have helped in his rescue efforts.

"We could have got people that were stranded and brought them over into safety at some of the shelters and grouped them up instead of leaving them on their porches," Rickett said.

Officials with the TN Task Force say had they had the Hydratrek in New Orleans when Katrina hit 3 years ago, they could have rescued about two thousand more people.

And even though these men hope to find minimal damage when they arrive, they say the Hydratrek is essential to rescue efforts in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Gustav.

The group also took four trailers along with the Hydratrek units.  Each trailer can hold up to nine people.

The group is scheduled to meet up with Tennessee Task Force One in Houston and then deploy from there.

Click here to e-mail Justin Hanson.