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NEWS | Oct. 5, 2016

National Guard members called up to assist southeastern states during Hurricane Matthew

By National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. – National Guard members in four southeastern states were at the ready Wednesday as Hurricane Matthew approached the United States.

South Carolina had at least 1,100 Army National Guard troops on duty and evacuations were already underway. "Our goal is to make sure you get at least 100 miles away from the coast," Gov. Nikki Haley told residents.

In Florida, just about 500 Guard members are helping with preparation and more may be called up as needed. As reported in news media, Gov. Rick Scott said, "We are preparing for the worst, hoping for the best and not taking any chances."

Neither Georgia nor North Carolina had any Guard troops on duty but 300 personnel in North Carolina were on standby, according to the National Guard Bureau. Georgia personnel were conducting pre-operations checks, they reported.

The powerful storm was 35 miles north-northwest of Cuba's eastern tip; by Thursday officials expect it to move very close to Florida.

By Sunday, the storm may progress as far north as Massachusetts, forecasters said.

(Contributing: Steve Marshall of the National Guard Bureau and Cheryl Pellerin of DoD News, Defense Media Activity)