Guard Continues Midwest Flood Relief Efforts

ARLINGTON, Va., June 21, 2011 — About 2,000 Nation­al Guard mem­bers from nine states are con­tin­u­ing relief oper­a­tions in the wake of the 2011 Mid­west floods, which have rav­aged thou­sands of acres and poten­tial­ly caused bil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age, Nation­al Guard offi­cials said today.

Sol­diers of the North Dako­ta Nation­al Guard’s 816th Engi­neer Com­pa­ny pro­vide sand­bags to raise the height of the lev­ee near Burling­ton, N.D., June 14, 2011. Because of the heavy rain the state received, the 816th was tasked to raise sev­er­al low spots on lev­ees through­out their area.
U.S. Army pho­to by Spc. Cas­san­dra Simon­ton
Click to enlarge

Guard mem­bers from Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mis­souri, Nebras­ka, North Dako­ta, South Dako­ta and Wyoming have been work­ing tire­less­ly, some for about three months, to pro­tect their states and cit­i­zens from the dev­as­ta­tion of ris­ing rivers.

The Arkansas Army Nation­al Guard is pro­vid­ing sol­diers to the Joint Oper­a­tions Cen­ter and as well as inter­a­gency liai­son offi­cers for bet­ter com­mand and con­trol. In Iowa, where the Mis­souri Riv­er has caused the shut­down of much of Inter­state 29 in the west­ern part of the state, the Nation­al Guard has been evac­u­at­ing cit­i­zens and patrolling lev­ees in mul­ti­ple coun­ties.

Due to the June 13 rup­ture of a pri­ma­ry lev­ee on the Iowa-Mis­souri bor­der Iowa Guard mem­bers work­ing with the Army Corps of Engi­neers on June 15 built a sec­ondary lev­ee to pro­tect the south­west Iowa com­mu­ni­ty of Ham­burg from an over­flow of the Mis­souri Riv­er.

Kansas Guard mem­bers are con­tin­u­ing to patrol threat­ened lev­ees, mon­i­tor­ing them for poten­tial weak­ness from the pres­sure of the ris­ing Mis­souri Riv­er waters.

Guard mem­bers from Louisiana are per­form­ing lev­ee patrols and area secu­ri­ty, pro­vid­ing avi­a­tion sup­port and resource trans­porta­tion for crit­i­cal areas affect­ed by the flood­ing.

With sev­en coun­ties heav­i­ly affect­ed by the floods, Mis­souri Nation­al Guard mem­bers are pro­vid­ing liai­son offi­cers and have been mov­ing non-mis­sion-essen­tial equip­ment to Forbes Field in Tope­ka, Kan., in prepa­ra­tion for a poten­tial relo­ca­tion of Rose­crans Air Nation­al Guard Base.

Nebras­ka Guard mem­bers are pro­vid­ing lev­ee mon­i­tor­ing for the city of Oma­ha and have pre­pared gen­er­a­tors in the event they are need­ed for crit­i­cal areas.

North Dako­ta Guard mem­bers are still run­ning 24-hour oper­a­tions. They are pro­vid­ing quick response forces and ground search and res­cue teams to mul­ti­ple coun­ties through­out the state.

North Dako­ta Army Nation­al Guard UH-60 Black Hawk heli­copters with hoist capa­bil­i­ties also are being used to place one-ton sand­bags along weak­ened lev­ees.

In South Dako­ta, Guard mem­bers are pro­vid­ing air assets for sand­bag­ging efforts and per­son­nel trans­porta­tion. They have deployed a Joint Inci­dent Site Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Capa­bil­i­ty team and more than 100 hand-held radios to increase com­mu­ni­ca­tion through­out the state.

The Wyoming Nation­al Guard has acti­vat­ed its emer­gency oper­a­tions cen­ter while per­form­ing flood mit­i­ga­tion in sev­er­al coun­ties.

The Guard also is in full swing for the annu­al hur­ri­cane sea­son, but will con­tin­ue its cur­rent oper­a­tions both at home and abroad, the chief of the Nation­al Guard Bureau said.

“Your Nation­al Guard has been ful­ly engaged in the war fight over­seas, and we also stand ready to answer the call domes­ti­cal­ly when a dis­as­ter hap­pens,” Air Force Gen. Craig R. McKin­ley said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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