Texas Guard Prepares for Season's First Hurricane
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Jon Soucy
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va., June 29, 2010 About 2,500 members of the Texas National Guard are on standby in anticipation of Tropical Storm Alex, which is expected to become a hurricane and hit the lower Texas coast late July 1 or early July 2.
Left to right, Air Force Col. Connie McNabb, chief of the Texas Joint Staff; Air Force Brig. Gen. John Nichols, commander of the Texas Air National Guard; Army Maj. Gen. Jose Mayorga, Texas adjutant general; and Army Brig. Gen. Joyce Stevens, commander of the Texas Army National Guard, listen intently to predictions for Tropical Storm Alex in the Joint Emergency Operations Center at Camp Mabry, Texas, June 29, 2010. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Maria Moy
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The deployment of troops and the locations where they will go depends on future weather predictions and where landfall occurs, Texas National Guard officials said.
Texas Guard assets that may be employed include eight UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and crews, and three C-130 Hercules aircraft and crews that can assist with air evacuations if needed. Additionally, officials said, Guard members have vehicles capable of crossing high-water areas.
The Guard members would be working in support of local and state authorities, and in addition to providing evacuation capabilities, they also can bring medical personnel, communication equipment and security teams if those assets are needed.
“We continue to closely monitor this storm, and are preparing accordingly for its potential impact to our communities,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on his website today. “Tropical Storm Alex is now in the Gulf, and it is imperative that residents pay attention to this storm, heed warnings from their local leaders, and take the steps necessary to protect their families, homes and businesses.”