USA — National Guard Responds to Domestic Disasters

ARLINGTON, Va., April 26, 2011 — About 900 Nation­al Guard mem­bers are respond­ing today to floods, fires, tor­na­does, and oth­er emer­gency sit­u­a­tions in six states.
Guard mem­bers are respond­ing or stag­ing per­son­nel in response to weath­er reports that fore­cast more rain in already flood­ed areas of North Dako­ta, Mis­souri, Indi­ana, as well as tor­na­does in Arkansas and ongo­ing wild­fires in Texas. Oper­a­tions in Min­neso­ta are wrap­ping up.

In North Dako­ta, more than 350 Guard mem­bers are patrolling lev­ees to mon­i­tor pos­si­ble breach­es, man­ning traf­fic con­trol points and serv­ing as quick-reac­tion forces, pro­vid­ing more than 18,000 sand­bags to rein­force lev­ees, accord­ing to North Dako­ta Nation­al Guard reports.

In Mis­souri, more than 200 ser­vice mem­bers from the 1140th Engi­neer Bat­tal­ion are being acti­vat­ed to assist with a lev­ee breach in Poplar Bluff and sur­round­ing areas in the south­ern por­tion of the state. The engi­neers will assist with sand­bag and evac­u­a­tion oper­a­tions, Mis­souri Nation­al Guard offi­cials said.

Sup­port also is ongo­ing in Indi­ana, where the Indi­ana Guard recent­ly received a request from the Indi­ana Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty for sand­bag­ging sup­port due to flood­ing in Gib­son, Knox, and Daviess coun­ties. More than 220 Indi­ana Nation­al Guard mem­bers are on duty there.

In Arkansas, where sev­er­al tor­na­does touched down, more than 100 Army and Air Guard mem­bers are pro­vid­ing route clear­ance, secu­ri­ty and traf­fic con­trol duties. Eighty-five of them are in Vilo­nia, a town just north of Lit­tle Rock, while 20 oth­ers are assist­ing in the com­mu­ni­ty of Hot Springs, with more planned for Gar­land, Faulkn­er and Car­roll coun­ties, said Army Capt. Christo­pher Heath­scott, Arkansas Guard pub­lic affairs offi­cer.

Else­where, wild­fires in Texas have burned more than 1.6 mil­lion acres and 244 homes. Air­craft from North Car­oli­na, Cal­i­for­nia, and Wyoming equipped with the mod­u­lar air­borne fire­fight­ing sys­tem are respond­ing, as well as four UH-60 Black Hawk heli­copters equipped with fire­fight­ing equip­ment.

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

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