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NEWS | Aug. 8, 2006

Texas National Guard conducting relief operations

By Chief Master Sgt. Gonda Moncada Texas National Guard Public Affairs

CAMP MABRY, Austin, Texas - After nearly a week of rain, Vinton and Socorro, two small communities near El Paso, Texas, finally received a reprieve last night.

Nearly 100 Texas National Guard Soldiers and equipment, together with local, state and federal agencies, have been battling against Mother Nature in trying to keep citizens safe and dry.

They have evacuated and saved people from drowning, have gone door-to-door, making sure that no one was left behind, and offered evacuation assistance. They have filled thousands of sandbags and cleared debris.

Some Soldiers have been in water as high as their waist; others have been frantically pumping water from behind a dam in danger of collapsing.

Although relative quiet has returned to the area, the job is still not done. One platoon has been deployed to Socorro to assist in relief efforts there, and another platoon is doing the same in Vinton. A third platoon is on standby, ready to rotate in when others come in for a deserved rest.