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NEWS | Oct. 30, 2012

Virginia and D.C. National Guard units hustling after Sandy slams region

By Cotton Puryear Virginia National Guard

SANDSTON, Va. - Virginia National Guard personnel began assisting Virginia State Police and emergency response organizations late Tuesday at numerous locations across the commonwealth.

And in the nation's capital, about 150 members of the District of Columbia National Guard are providing hurricane response aid today, assisting with street closures, damage assessment and emergency response as well as manning traffic control points.

Washington officials have asked the National Guard to provide support through Nov. 4.

Approximately 650 Guard personnel in Virginia were  able to provide high water transport, debris reduction and reconnaissance patrols.

Gov. Bob McDonnell authorized an increase of Guard personnel to 750 on Sunday, and additional personnel have been alerted for possible duty and will be held in reserve for possible future missions.

Specific accomplishments include the following:

  • In Winchester, Virginia Guard Soldiers assisted Virginia State Police with clearing a large tree blocking access to a VSP fueling station.
  • In Norfolk, Virginia Guard personnel provided high water transport to help firefighters take a resident to the hospital and two people to shelter. They also conducted numerous reconnaissance patrols to assess route trafficability, damage assessment and offeredassistance to motorists in need.
  • In Fredericksburg, Virginia Guard personnel provided traffic control to assist Virginia State Police and local emergency service personnel at the site of an accident involving an overturned tractor trailer and also provided military rations to hungry people in a disabled vehicle waiting for the arrival of VSP assistance. Soldiers also cleared debris from an exit on I-95 and helped two motorists in need of assistance get back on the road.
  • In Onancock, Virginia Guard personnel conducted multiple missions to transport 14 people to shelters and transported six firefighters.
  • In West Point, Virginia Guard personnel conducted a debris reduction mission and a reconnaissance patrol to assess route trafficability, damage assessment and offer assistance to motorists.
  • In Portsmouth and Richmond, Virginia Guard personnel conducted reconnaissance patrols to assess route trafficability, damage assessment and offer assistance to motorists in need.

The D.C. National Guard contributed to this report