Local News

National Guard remains stationed across NC awaiting Irma

Posted September 7

— As the state mobilizes all resources to deal with Hurricane Irma's impending impact, emergency teams are staging in three areas across the state-the coast, the Piedmont and the mountains.

A very important part of the plan involves the National Guard. Fresh off a tour of duty rescuing people by helicopter in Houston after Hurricane Harvey, the National Guard is preparing for Hurricane Irma.

"If you are a member of the National Guard, you know about Hurricane Irma, and you are ready to answer the call," Captain Matthew Boyle said.

In a news conference Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper said 310 soldiers are already activated and are ready for the powerful storm.

National Guard remains stationed across NC awaiting Irma

"We have a strong team here in our state and they are ready for Irma and whatever impact it may be," Cooper said.

The teams will use tactical vehicles, which can travel in high water to rescue people from flooded areas. After Hurricane Matthew, the soldiers have plenty of experience.

"Our basic mission, number one priority is to save lives," Boyle said. "The second priority after that is to help protect property and to mitigate the storm damage."

Because the storm's track keeps changing, their plans include every part of the state, from the west to the coast.

"The storm is uncertain, we don't know what the track is going to be, but we're making plans if it hits the western part of the state," Boyle said. "We're making plans if it hits the Piedmont, and we're certainly making plans if it hits the coast.

One of the National Guard's important roles was using vehicles to pump out flooded neighborhoods after Matthew.

Emergency teams are hoping that won't be needed following Hurricane Irma.

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