By Cotton Puryear
Virginia National Guard
SANDSTON, Va., Oct. 30, 2012 – Virginia National Guard members assisted Virginia State Police, emergency response organizations and citizens across the commonwealth today as part of Hurricane Sandy response and recovery operations.
Meanwhile, about 650 National Guard members in Virginia provided high water transport, debris reduction and reconnaissance patrols.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Oct. 28 authorized an increase of Guard personnel to 750. Additional personnel have been alerted for possible duty and will be held in reserve for possible future missions.
Specific National Guard accomplishments across the Commonwealth of Virginia include:
-- In Winchester, Guard members assisted Virginia State Police with clearing a large tree blocking access to a police fueling station.
-- In Norfolk, Guard members provided high water transport to help firefighters take a resident to the hospital and two people to shelter. They also conducted reconnaissance patrols to assess road accessibility, damage assessments and helped motorists in need.
-- In Fredericksburg, Guard members provided traffic control to assist State Police and local emergency service personnel at the site of an accident involving an overturned tractor trailer. Guard members also provided military rations to hungry people in a disabled vehicle waiting for the arrival of State Police assistance. Virginia Guard soldiers also cleared debris from an exit on I-95 and helped two motorists get back on the road.
-- In Onancock, Guard members conducted missions to transport 14 people to shelters and transported six firefighters.
-- In West Point, Guard members conducted a debris reduction mission and a reconnaissance patrol to assess route accessibility. They also conducted damage assessments and offered assistance to motorists.
-- In Portsmouth and Richmond, Guard members conducted reconnaissance patrols to assess route accessibility, conducted damage assessments and offered assistance to motorists in need.
The District of Columbia National Guard contributed to this report.