The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in a news release that more than 570 soldiers and airmen are deployed throughout the state. Another 200 will be called up in the next couple of days to help out.
While most of the initial response of the National Guard was in support of the search-and-rescue mission, the focus now is on helping citizens recover from the immediate effects of the flood. Guard members are providing aerial views of the affected areas; sending out medical teams; coordinating debris collection and removal; moving and distributing water, meals and cleaning supplies; and conducting door-to-door health and welfare checks.
The 130th Airlift Wing, based in Charleston, is acting as the West Virginia staging area for FEMA and trailers full of supplies for flood locations.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the size and scope of this disaster is hard to grasp, but West Virginians are stepping up to help their neighbors.