RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Around 60 members of the Virginia National Guard have been mobilized to prepare for the possible impacts of Hurricane Ian across the commonwealth.
The soldiers and airmen have been staged in the Abingdon, Roanoke, Richmond and Virginia Beach areas.
“Additional personnel have been alerted in the Richmond area to be prepared to provide rotary wing rescue hoist, reconnaissance and aerial transport capabilities. More personnel have been alerted for possible additional high mobility transport and debris reduction capabilities if needed,” the National Guard wrote in a release.
A State of Emergency declaration by Gov. Glen Youngkin authorized the Virginia National Guard to bring active duty personnel to support state and local authorities in preparation for the severe weather expected with the coming of Hurricane Ian.
“The key to rapid response is staging personnel and equipment at key locations before the severe weather hits,” explained Brig. Gen. James W. Ring, VNG Director of the Joint Staff. “Our Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force personnel quickly left their loved ones and their jobs on very short notice to assist their fellow Virginians in times of need, and we extend a special thanks to their families and employers for their continued support.”
During hurricanes and tropical storms, Virginia National Guard members will typically assist in transporting first responders or distributing food and water to citizens in remote areas, as well as “providing chain saw teams to help reduce debris to clear roads or power line routes,” according to the National Guard.