Virginia National Guard soldiers ready on Eastern Shore ahead of Hurricane Dorian


ONANCOCK, Va. (WRIC) — A group of National Guard soldiers made their way up the Eastern Shore from Virginia Beach on Thursday to provide aid to towns during Hurricane Dorian.

While the storm is not expected to hit the area as hard as others to the south, a second lieutenant in charge says his team is ready to go in any conditions.

The National Guard’s team on the Eastern Shore, equipped with seven tactical vehicles, will jump into action when needed as they call the Onancock Armory their home for the next few days.

“Planning takes place throughout the year for situations like this,” Virginia National Guard 2nd Lt. Chase Simpson said.

The tactical vehicles have been put in position to help local first responders in need of a lift when their own emergency vehicles can’t make it through the water.

“The height of the vehicles allow them to traverse on high water situations,” Simpson explained.

The soldiers will also clear debris from fallen trees, a major concern on the Eastern Shore, out of the way. Even though it was calm on the wharf Thursday, high winds are expected from Dorian.

“I’ve told my soldiers to not worry about what the forecast says,” Simpson said. “To be prepared for anything that can happen.”

The National Guard will be assigned missions from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. For some of the National Guard troops at Onancock, seeing the impact of a hurricane is nothing new.

“About 10 of our soldiers have done this before, and we have eight new faces compared to last year,” Simpson shared. “But they’ve been trained and they’re ready to go.” ​

Make sure to follow Sara McCloskey (@Sara8News) for updates as she will be embedded with the National Guard soldiers in the area for at least the next 36 hours.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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