National Guard, power crews leave for Florida

September 11, 2017 07:10 PM

It could be days or even weeks before power is restored across Florida. Help is on the way from New York State. In fact, help is actually on the way to Florida from all across the United States.

New Yorkers are part of the national mission to help restore normalcy to the Sunshine State in their time of need.

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In the spirit of neighbor helping neighbor, Americans helping their fellow Americans, the New York Army National Guard is sending 10 UH-60 Blackhawks down to Florida. Three of them left Albany on Monday, along with three Medivac choppers from Syracuse and four from Islip, Long Island. The plan is to be in Richmond, Va. Monday and then fly to the storm zone on Tuesday.

"Hopefully, what we can be doing is providing any kind of relief effort that we're trained to be able to provide. So that could be anything from rescue hoist missions to dropping off supplies to areas that need relief," explained Captain Forest Thrush with the New York Army National Guard.

However, the search and rescue part of the mission might only be the beginning.

"Once that is complete, then we'll start doing aerial resupply logistics, moving food and water to command outposts that'll be supporting individual residences and local areas as a base, until they can get all the roads open," noted Major Paul Bailie with the New York Army National Guard.

National Guardsmen is only part of the New York contingent heading south. On Tuesday morning, a caravan of 40 Capital Region National Grid workers will hit the road, Florida-bound. They are part of a crew of 300 National Grid crewmen from across the country.

"When we've had storms here like Irene and Lee, we've had crews from outside come, so our crews will go and help out. They've done that in the past and we're certainly interested in helping out where we can and there's a big need right now," pointed out Patrick Stella with National Grid.

The next question that's almost always asked is how long will they be down there? The answer is as long as they're needed.

If National Guardsmen or power company crews are needed at here at home, they'll cross that bridge when they come to it.


WNYT Staff

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