An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | Sept. 19, 2018

South Carolina Guard rises to occasion as waters go up

By Staff Sgt. Joe Cashion South Carolina National Guard

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. - Tropical Storm Florence dumped unprecedented amounts of rain on the Carolinas during the weekend of Sept. 14-16, causing many rivers connecting the two states to overflow. That led to flooding in many rural populated areas, forcing evacuations, and roads to wash out in South Carolina.

Enter the South Carolina National Guard.

Elements of South Carolina National Guard, 4-118th Combined Arms Battalion (CAB) moved to the Chesterfield-Ruby Middle School in the early morning hours of Sept. 16, answering the call to help their neighbors in a time of need.

"Our team's mission was to go out and make sure people's houses weren't flooded and if they did need to evacuate, we would bring them to the high school where the Red Cross could take care of them," said Spc. Matthew Santeramo, of the 4-118th CAB.

Using the unit's high-water Light Medium Tactical Vehicles (LMTVs), Soldiers of the unit conducted route reconnaissance to make sure secondary roads are passible, checked on houses with families in outlying areas that may be in need of assistance, and evacuated people when flood waters made conditions dangerous.

Santeramo said, being out checking on their fellow neighbors is critical in a time like this.

"It just ensures their safety more," he said. "I know a lot of people don't want to evacuate because their lives are here, but we are here to make sure they are safe. Just by being out there and double-checking and making sure everything is OK, and evacuating them if need be, it just helps them be safe."

Even though the Soldiers of this unit just completed a full month of training in August at Fort Bliss, Texas, away from their jobs and their loved ones, it's times like these that really motivate them, explained Sgt. 1st Class Jason Gass, 4-118th CAB.

"Deployments are one thing and they are great," said Gass. "But what truly energizes these Soldiers is an opportunity to be out in the community helping their neighbors during an emergency. This is what keeps them in."

For his part, Santaramo says that the South Carolina National Guard is here and will continue to be on duty as long as they are needed in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Florence.

"It's our state, these are our people," said Santaramo. "The South Carolina National Guard takes care of our people.



Related Articles
Spc. Cody Watkins, 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company crew member, participates in a training exercise on the Sampit River in Georgetown, South Carolina on Sept. 24, 2018. If the flooding gets as bad as expected, his fulltime mission will be on the water helping to transport emergency vehicles to and from the mainland.
S.C. Soldier’s childhood dream becomes reality
By Tech. Sgt. Andrea Rhode | Oct. 1, 2018
GEORGETOWN, S.C. - His journey began in middle school. There was a television show called "Inside Combat Rescue" that he watched nonstop. He dedicated his life to it. To this day, he still has every episode saved on his...

South Carolina National Guard Soldiers from the 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company, Abbeville, South Carolina, drive to a float bridge on the Sampit River in Georgetown, South Carolina, Sept. 26, 2018. The float bridge is used to transport main supplies to and from areas that can no longer be accessed by roadways.
S.C. National Guard prepares for the worst on Sampit River
By Airman 1st Class Cameron Lewis | Oct. 1, 2018
GEORGETOWN, S.C. - More than 60 Soldiers with South Carolina's 125th Multi-Role Bridge Company, out of Abbeville, were mobilized Sept. 11, and continue to provide support to local communities in response to Hurricane Florence...

Soldiers from the North Carolina Army National Guard 295th Signal Network Support Company (NSC), 130th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade configure the Commercial Coalition Equipment (CCE), part of their Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal (DIRECT) system. The unit used the system to support Columbus County Emergency Management 911 Dispatch in Whiteville.
Army Guard comm tool kit supports Florence response
By Amy Walker | Sept. 27, 2018
WHITEVILLE, N.C. - The North Carolina Army National Guard used its new tactical network communication tool suite, known as the Disaster Incident Response Emergency Communications Terminal, or DIRECT, to provide lifesaving...