Texas Guard prepares for first hurricane of the season
From left to right, Col. Connie McNabb, chief of the Texas Joint Staff, Air Force Brig. Gen. John Nichols, commander of the Texas Air National Guard, Maj. Gen. Jose Mayorga, the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, Army Brig. Gen. Joyce Stevens, commander of the Texas Army National Guard, listen intently to the National Weather Bureau predictions for Tropical Storm Alex in the Joint Emergency Operations Center at Camp Mabry June 29, 2010.

ARLINGTON, Va. (June 30, 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 Wednesday or early Thursday.

The actual deployment of troops and the locations where they will go is dependent on future weather predictions and where actual landfall occurs, Texas National Guard officials said.

Texas Guard assets that may be employed include eight UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and crews, and three C-130 Hercules aircraft and crews that can assist with air evacuations if needed.

Additionally, said Texas Guard officials, Guardmembers have vehicles capable of crossing high-water areas.

The Guardmembers would be working in support of local and state authorities and in addition to providing evacuation capabilities, they can also bring with them medical personnel, communication equipment and security teams if 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."

Page last updated Wed June 30th, 2010 at 09:18