Kentucky Guard engages in search and rescue operations after tornadoes
March 4, 2012
WEST LIBERTY, Ky. --- Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen converged on the remains of West Liberty, Ky., March 3, to assist local fire and law enforcment in recovery and relief efforts in the wake of the series of tornadic storms that ripped through the state March 3.
Soldiers from the Morehead, Ky.-based 301st Chemical Company arrived on the scene Friday, hours after the tornado flattened the town, and assisted local officials with the evacuation of the citizens. On Friday, the operation changed to search and rescue.
Kentucky Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Michael Dement, a Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear specialist with the 301st, said that his team's mission was to cordon off the city, maintain control and to get accountability of the citizens in West Liberty.
"The look on people's faces when they see the've lost everything they own tugs at you," he said.
Kentucky Air Guardsman Tech. Sgt. Harold Baker, a medic with the 165th Airwing Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosive Expeditionary Response Force Package said the damage done to the city was some of the worst he had ever seen.
Approximately 70 Kentucky Guardsman from across the Commonwealth mobilized to support the citizens of West Liberty.