By National Guard BureauFebruary 26, 2018
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio - For the second time last week, the Ohio National Guard has activated Soldiers from the 1191st Engineering Company to support Portsmouth, Ohio, by raising additional floodgates as flooding continues.
About 40 Soldiers with the 1191st, based in Portsmouth, deployed again on state active duty Feb. 23 to respond to rising waters that continue to threaten the local community, where several Soldiers live and work. Working alongside the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency and the city of Portsmouth Flood Defense Division, the Citizen-Soldiers erected two additional floodgates along the Ohio River.
The 1191st was first activated on Sunday, Feb. 18 through Tuesday, Feb. 20, to build two floodgates at the city's lowest elevation where the need was most immediate.
The 1191st is a horizontal engineering company, capable of operating heavy construction equipment to move tons of earth and material in order to complete construction projects, including the construction of roads and airfields, placing culverts, hauling construction materials and providing force protection.
And in nearby West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice on Friday directed the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) to prepare for potential widespread flooding across the Mountain State over the weekend.
To prepare, the WVNG positioned liaison officers (LNOs) in county emergency operations centers (EOC) that are expecting the most impact from potential flooding. Liaison officers work alongside county emergency managers and EOC directors to conduct damage assessments, develop action plans and determine what National Guard assets are available and that can be used for recovery operations.
West Virginia National Guard units staged resources in areas that have an increased risk of flooding.
The newly formed West Virginia National Guard Swift Water Rescue Team, in conjunction with Clendenin and Glasgow Volunteer firefighters, and the search and extraction element of the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force (CERFP) will also be available in the event West Virginia citizens need to be rescued from high water.
"Our West Virginia first responders and the West Virginia National Guard are the best this Nation has to offer as a homeland response force in the event of a state emergency," said Justice, the governor.
"This is what we train for and it's what we are exceptional at - being there when the citizens of West Virginia need us most. We will continue to monitor this situation closely and are ready to respond," said Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, the state adjutant general.
Else, state officials are keeping an eye on heavy rain. The states of Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri are under emergency declarations, which allow for quick mobilization of resources in the event of flooding.
Contributing: Ohio and West Virginia National Guard public affairs.