• Army Pfc. Dominique Smallwood, a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear specialist with the 299th Chemical Company, Maysville, Ky., directs traffic in West Liberty, Ky., March 3 after after a tornado and series of severe storms destroyed most of the small community in Eastern Kentucky. (Photo by Spc. David Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detatchment, Kentucky National Guard)

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    Army Pfc. Dominique Smallwood, a Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear specialist with the 299th Chemical Company, Maysville, Ky., directs traffic in West Liberty, Ky., March 3 after after a tornado and series of severe storms destroyed most of the...

  • Firefighters from the Grape Vine Fire Department assist local and state law enforcement officials, along with Kentucky National Guard Service members, in relief efforts taking place in West Liberty, Ky., where a series of tornadic storms demolished much of the city.  (Photo by Spc. David Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Kentucky National Guard).

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    Firefighters from the Grape Vine Fire Department assist local and state law enforcement officials, along with Kentucky National Guard Service members, in relief efforts taking place in West Liberty, Ky., where a series of tornadic storms demolished...

  • Kentucky National Guard Sgt. Adam Griggs, a wheel mechanic with the 301st Chemical Company, Morehead, Ky., prepares to go out on a search and rescue mission in West Liberty, Ky., to look for any surviors that may have been trapped under the debris of homes and structures March 3, 2012.  (Photo by Spc. David Bolton, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, Kentucky National Guard).

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    Kentucky National Guard Sgt. Adam Griggs, a wheel mechanic with the 301st Chemical Company, Morehead, Ky., prepares to go out on a search and rescue mission in West Liberty, Ky., to look for any surviors that may have been trapped under the debris of...

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.

Page last updated Sun March 4th, 2012 at 00:00