Hundreds of Va. National Guard mobilized for Florence, thousands more on standby

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds of Virginia National Guard soldiers and airmen are mobilizing — getting ready to respond if localities need their help during hurricane Florence.

“The key for us to be able to rapidly respond is getting soldiers in place before the bad weather hits,” said Virginia National Guard Spokesperson, Cotton Puryear.

The Virginia National Guard has its own team of meteorologists tracking Hurricane Florence.

Those scientists are trying to predict the storm’s movements before they happen.

That way, the Guard can get manpower into position around the Commonwealth.

“As the Department of Emergency Management gets requirements for localities that need high water transport, debris reduction, things of that sort — then we’re able to quickly provide that capability to them,” said Puryear.

By Wednesday, 1,500 personnel will be placed strategically around Virginia, with another 4,500 on standby.

“The Governor has authorized up to 6,000 {soldiers} and those additional folks have been alerted,” said Puryear.

The Virginia National Guard Headquarters is located just South of Richmond.

As the storm gets closer to making landfall, Puryear says the seats inside the operations center will fill up quickly.

The Virginia National Guard is part of a multi-agency team responding to hurricane Florence.

In addition, that response team includes the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, The Virginia Department of Transportation, and state and local emergency response organizations.

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