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Snow, ice and flooding keep troops busy in Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma

By National Guard Bureau January 17, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. -- Ice, snow and floods kept National Guard members busy over the holiday weekend in Kansas, Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma. As winter weather continues to affect western Kansas, the State Emergency Operations Center was still activated today and monitoring the storm that hit much of the state over the weekend.

The Kansas National Guard, which still has 75 personnel working on storm relief, has Stranded Motorist Assistance and Recovery Teams (SMART) patrolling key roads and assisting motorists stranded by icy roads.

The teams will also provided emergency transportation for law enforcement, medical and other critical response personnel. The Kansas National Guard is also standing by if generators are requested by county managers through the Kansas Division of Emergency Management.

Nevada assistance began early last Monday, as the Truckee River crested through the Nevada cities of Reno and Sparks. On that day, 609th Soldiers reported to Lockwood, Nevada, where flooding affected the town's water system. Soldiers originally activated to aid evacuation.

Nevada Guard members transported potable water, prepared evacuations and even helped with snow removal, for much of the state's most vulnerable residents in rural parts of the flood zone.

"The community is extremely supportive," said Sgt. Nathan Spicer, 609th Engineer Company. "We got a lot of thumbs up, waves and many thank you's in passing."

A nearby Walmart distribution center donated pallets of water for the community and Nevada Guard members helped with its transportation and distribution. No residents were evacuated as portions of the Truckee River in Lockwood crested at its banks.

Additionally, Nevada Guardsmen transported a water tank, commonly referred to as a "water buffalo," with 400 gallons for citizens of Sutcliffe, Nevada, a town on Pyramid Lake tribal land about 40 miles north of Reno.

"The entire town was without water and the weather isn't making it any easier for them," Sgt. 1st Class Justin Juliot, 991st Multi-Functional Brigade, said Thursday. "They were really thankful to get the water."

The flood closed roads and damaged pipelines connecting the town of about 600 people to a nearby water tank. Sutcliffe has been without basic water services since the flood on Sunday and hopes to have the system restored early next week, tribal officials said.

In the rural, mountain town of Virginia City -- a national historic monument -- Guardsmen aided citizens stuck in snow Friday, loading military dump trucks and moving snow to the outskirts of town.

Guard operations in Missouri and Oklahoma have been concluded. Missouri troops assisted with snow removal and Oklahoma personal assisted with fuel delivery and generator support.

Contributing: Tech. Sgt. Emerson Marcus, Nevada Joint Headquarters; Kansas National Guard

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