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    SC National Guard supports recovery efforts following ice storm

    SC National Guard supports recovery efforts following ice storm

    Photo By Sgt. Brian Calhoun | S.C. Army National Guard dump trucks driven by members of the 122nd Engineers and...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Cindi King 

    South Carolina National Guard

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolinians welcomed clear skies Feb. 14, after three days of snow and ice pummeling the region. Area meteorologists said the state had not experienced a winter storm like Pax since 1940. As communities began to venture out, and perhaps share stories of how they coped with the unusual ice storm that impacted the southeast, S.C. National Guard soldiers were still on the job.

    With recovery efforts underway, the S.C. National Guard mobilized five debris removal teams at the request of Aiken county officials, whose area was one of the hardest hit with downed trees. A debris removal team consists of six engineering soldiers, one who is a medic. Equipment the Guard soldiers will use includes a HMMWV, chainsaw, skid-loader, front-end loader and a wrecker.

    Since S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley called a state of emergency Feb. 11, 2014, more than 200 S.C. National Guard soldiers served on State Active Duty, and provided support around the state to different agencies.

    During the first 48 hours, fourteen wrecker teams staged around the state to assist the S.C. Department of Public Safety, aiding stranded motorists along roads. They pulled 12 tractor trailers stuck on highways and assisted dozens of motorists. By mid-day Feb. 14, the teams were released as conditions were clear enough for counties to return to normal highway operations.

    When the Department of Transportation identified a need for more road salt, the S.C. Army National Guard mobilized thirty-eight dump trucks to transport salt from Charleston to Columbia. They moved 660 tons in the first 24 hours, working around the clock with four convoys. In total, it’s estimated in total, they will move just over 3,000 tons of salt to complete the mission.

    The American Red Cross identified requirements for any citizens who came to their warming shelters in Horry, Dillon or Marion counties. Many had been without power and would need food and water. The S.C. National Guard delivered over 400 boxed meals and cases of bottled water from the American Red Cross to nine of their shelters.

    In Anderson County, located in the upstate and one of the areas with a high volume of snow and ice, S.C. National Guard troops helped the county transport medical personnel. With two HMMWVs, they transported over 40 doctors and nurses to and from the Anderson Hospital and emergency facilities in the height of the storm.

    On two occasions, the S.C. National Guard was requested to conduct wellness checks, one on a family of five, and another was on with an elderly couple.

    "This is when our Guard soldiers need to exercise safety and be most careful, as we enter day four of sustained operations, said Brig. Gen. Van McCarty, the Deputy Adjutant General for S.C. “Debris removal can be dangerous business, but we hope the folks in these hard hit areas will find comfort when they see we’re working to get their lives back to normal.”



    Date Taken: 02.14.2014
    Date Posted: 02.14.2014 13:40
    Story ID: 120653
    Location: COLUMBIA, SC, US 

    Web Views: 101
    Downloads: 0