By Edwin Wriston
| West Virginia National Guard Public Affairs | Feb. 16, 2021
At the direction of Gov. Jim Justice, 27 members of the West Virginia National Guard are mobilizing to assist local communities in response to the effects of winter storm damage that occurred Monday.
Earlier today, Gov. Justice declared a State of Emergency for Cabell, Lincoln, Putnam, and Wayne counties due to the severe winter storm, and has declared a State of Preparedness for the remaining 51 counties of the Mountain State.
Teams of personnel and equipment will be on site to requested communities in Cabell, Putnam, and Wayne counties as early as Wednesday.
“Multiple counties have reached out through our partners at the West Virginia Division of Emergency Management and placed requests for Guard assistance,” said Brig. Gen. William “Bill” Crane, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “Our One Guard team will be on the ground working shoulder-to-shoulder with local emergency management officials and first responders helping to get our communities stabilized and safe.”
“This storm response will be in addition to our ongoing operations for COVID-19 testing and vaccination and demonstrates the flexibility and multi-tasking capabilities of the National Guard,” he added.
Equipment such as chainsaws, skid steers, dump trucks, and equipment transporters and trailers are being deployed along with equipment operators to the heaviest impacted areas per local county direction. Teams of Liaison Officers will also be deployed to each county to assist with logistics and communications between Guard teams and local first responders and authorities.