HARRISBURG, Pa. – More than 500 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard were placed on state active duty to assist the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and other state agencies in response to Winter Storm Quinn beginning Tuesday.
With a new nor'easter forecast to impact wide swathes of eastern Pennsylvania on Wednesday, less than a week after Winter Storm Riley caused power outages and closed roads in northeast Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf said state agencies have prepared an aggressive plan to reduce disruptions.
"This storm may not have the extremely high winds as the one last week, but it will dump significant amounts of snow across a wider area and that prospect is moving us to take additional aggressive steps to restrict heavier vehicles from the interstates," Wolf said. "We must remember that weather is to a large extent unpredictable, but we are doing our utmost to station resources in as effective a way as possible."
The Pennsylvania Guard members are positioned in the following counties: Philadelphia, Monroe, Northampton, Bucks, Berks, Delaware, Lehigh, Pike, Montgomery, and Lackawanna with equipment and troops ready.
Upon receipt of a mission, troops brave the weather to help their fellow citizens. Guard members have received more than 20 PEMA-directed missions so far. The missions included wellness checks, delivering a life-saving oxygen tank, assisting disabled vehicles, and transporting key personnel in affected areas.
During state activations, the Pennsylvania National Guard organizes into task forces by region: Pennsylvania Task Force North, Pennsylvania Task Force South, and Pennsylvania Task Force West. Two functional task forces augment these geographic commands, Task Force Support and Task Force Aviation.