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(Neb)-National Guard, NPPD Responding To Hurricane Irma

By: John Axtell Posted at: 09/11/2017 09:13 AM
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska Army National Guard, which sent 4 helicopters and about 2 dozen soldiers to Texas to help with the emergency response for Hurricane Harvey, is sending 4 more helicopters and about 100 soldiers to Florida for Hurricane Irma relief operations.

      Lt. Governor Mike Foley, who heads Homeland Security for the state, says the National Guard members being deployed are trained and ready to join others from around Florida and the country in assisting with relief operations.

     The 4 UH-72 Lakota helicopters and Guard members from Lincoln-based Security and Support Company A of the 1st Battalion of the 376th Aviation Regiment left Saturday and are scheduled to arrive in Florida sometime today.

     Company A is equipped and trained to conduct search and rescue operations, air movement missions, and aerial damage assessments.

     The rest of the deployment includes the 1-376th's headquarters company, which is leaving today. The battalion, which is based in both Lincoln and Grand Island, is expected to serve as an aviation task force headquarters in central and northern Florida.

    Meanwhile, teams from the Nebraska Public Power District leave today for the Tampa, Florida, area to help restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The NPPD employees are from across the state, including Rushville and Scottsbluff.

     NPPD Transmission and Distribution Manager Art Wiese says 18 line technicians, 2 supervisors, and a fleet technician, supported by 14 vehicles and associated equipment, will leave from NPPD's York Operations Center and are scheduled to arrive in the Tampa area late tomorrow.

      Once there, the Nebraskans will help crews from Tampa Electric, which has 750,000 residential customers and 2,000 square miles of service territory. Wiese says they'll stay there for the next two weeks, with NPPD already preparing for any additional support beyond that time if needed.


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