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American Forces Press Service

Texas, Louisiana Guard Troops Stand Ready in Hurricane's Wake

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2007 – Texas and Louisiana National Guard troops are standing by to assist residents affected by strong winds, heavy rains and flooding caused by Hurricane Humberto, state military officials said today.

The Texas National Guard has staged 150 personnel and 50 vehicles to respond to local authorities’ needs if requested, said Army Lt. Col. Daniel Quick, who is posted at an emergency operations center in Houston.

“We’ve not had to respond at this point,” Quick said. “The rain in the area where we have people is less than we’d expected.”

The Category 1 storm crashed ashore early today in southeastern Texas. Its 80 mph winds and sheets of rain caused power outages in several Texas coastal communities.

“There was some wind-related power outages, but localized,” Quick said. “It is mainly excessive rain, causing flooding.”

The storm made landfall just east of Galveston, Texas, and then veered northeastward toward Louisiana, Quick said. Texas emergency-response authorities have been communicating with their Louisiana counterparts, he noted.

Louisiana seemed poised to take “the brunt of the hit” from Humberto, Quick said, noting that state is being pelted by wind-driven heavy rains.

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco has declared a state of emergency, and about 300 of that state’s Guard troops are on standby to respond to storm-caused emergencies, if called upon by local authorities, Louisiana Army National Guard spokeswoman Capt. Taysha P. Deaton reported today from Lafayette, La.

“We’re having a lot of rain. It’s just pouring,” Deaton said.

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