COLUMBUS, Ohio, August 4, 2014 —
In response to a state of emergency declared in Lucas County and the greater Toledo area, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has ordered a contingent of the Ohio National Guard to state active duty.
A harmful algae bloom has affected the Toledo public water system, and city officials have issued a “do not drink” notice in the affected areas.
Early reports are that about 400,000 people in and around Ohio’s fourth-largest city are affected. National Guard Bureau officials said 329 Guard members are involved in the response.
Ohio National Guard members are deploying to support residents in Lucas, Wood and Fulton counties. They will deliver water purification systems, pallets of bottled water and packaged meals.
“Our soldiers and airmen are highly trained and ready to respond,” said Army Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general. “We have specialized equipment and stockpiles of supplies that can bring some relief to the area.”
Soldiers and airmen from the Ohio National Guard’s 371st Task Force are providing the personnel for the mission.
The Ohio National Guard headquarters has activated its Crisis Action Team and Joint Planning Group, consisting of both Air National Guard and Army National Guard members, to manage response efforts.