By Capt. Holli Nelson, West Virginia National GuardJuly 1, 2019
RANDOLPH COUNTY, W. Va. - Governor Jim Justice has directed the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM) and the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG) to use all available assets to assist in flood response efforts in affected areas of Eastern West Virginia.
The WVNG is deploying eight Soldiers for State Active Duty for a response today. Three Community Assistance Teams (CAT) and one Liaison Officer (LNO) team is in Randolph County at the time of this release.
The CAT teams consist of two Soldiers who augment local Emergency Management (EM) manpower levels and assist with supply deliveries, emergency transportation, etc. to impacted communities. The LNO also consists of two Soldiers who work alongside county emergency managers and emergency operations center directors to conduct damage assessments, develop action plans, and determine what National Guard assets are available that can be used for recovery operations.
WVDHSEM is awaiting feedback from LNO teams on the ground to determine if additional resources, such as damage assistance teams, are needed in the area.
"I have personally reached out to local Emergency Managers for each of the impacted counties via phone and email multiple times to assess local needs," stated Mike Todorvich, Director of WVDHSEM. "We will do everything in our power to assist our local jurisdictions and to help get communities and families back on their feet."
"The WVNG and DHSEM are continuing to work collaboratively with other state agencies, including the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH), to provide a unified response for our citizens in need," stated Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Adjutant General of the WVNG. "This is what we train for and it's what we are best at - being there when the citizens of West Virginia need us most."