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Homeland Security

National Guard called out as winter storm pummels Northeast

By David Vergun and Cotton Puryear March 14, 2017

WASHINGTON (Army News Service) -- Winter storm Stella dumped up to two feet of snow Tuesday in portions of Pennsylvania and New York and was bearing down on New England with gale-force winds as four governors declared states of emergency.

About 2,000 Army National Guard Soldiers are on duty in New Jersey, New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania to help state multi-agency responders, according to the National Guard Bureau.

New York Army National Guard Soldiers are reportedly in the Buffalo area, ready to respond to emergencies on the New York State Thruway.

About 700 Pennsylvania National Guard troops are also prepared to assist stranded motorists on the Interstates and Turnpike, according to Guard officials in that state.

Other expected missions for the Guard include using Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks to provide transportation for first responders through deep snow or help evacuate citizens in need of shelter as well as providing debris reduction teams with chain saws to help clear roads if needed.

"Once again our Soldiers have demonstrated their ability to safely and rapidly position troops and equipment at key locations so they are ready to assist citizens of the commonwealth during times of hazardous weather," said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the adjutant general of Virginia.

"Our emergency response partners at the state and local level count on our capabilities as part of the overall response plan, and we continue to demonstrate that we are a force that will always be there when we are needed. We also owe a special thanks to our families and employers for their support that is so vital to our success," he added.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on its website that the "Storm of the Century" which occurred on this day in 1993, "was one of the most intense mid-latitude cyclones ever observed" over the East Coast.

The Superstorm of 1993, as it was also called, "was more significant than most landfalling hurricanes or tornado outbreaks and ranks among the deadliest and most costly weather events of the 20th century," the website reported.

The National Guard was called out then as well, reportedly using helicopters to drop hay in fields to keep livestock from starving in deep snowy areas of North Carolina.

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