Virginia National Guard to mobilize for possible Tropical Storm Isaias assistance

Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-02 18:48:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia National Guard plans to mobilize about 40 personnel for state emergency support duty in the Eastern Shore area to assist with Tropical Storm Isaias.

Soldiers will began preparations on Sunday and plan to be in place Monday. VNG officials say potential missions for the VNG include high water transportation using Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks and debris reduction using chain saws.

Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on July 31 authorizing the VNG’s mobilization as well as other state agencies to organize resources and deploy people and equipment to assist in response and recovery efforts.

Isaias was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, but it still poses a weather threat to the Commonwealth.

“Hurricane Isaias is a serious storm, and current predictions indicate that it may impact parts of Virginia as early as this weekend,” Northam said. “This state of emergency will ensure localities and communities have the assistance they need to protect the safety of Virginians, particularly as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. I encourage Virginians to take all necessary precautions, monitor local weather forecasts, and stay alert.”

Anyone impacted by Isaias and in need of assistance should send support requests to VDEM to ensure the appropriate organization provides the resources in a timely manner.

VNG personnel say they will respond following the appropriate COVID-19 health protection guidelines for social distancing, wearing cloth face coverings and personal hygiene.

"It is very important that we get our personnel and equipment staged and ready at the right locations before the severe weather hits so we are able to rapidly respond if needed,” explained Brig. Gen. James Ring, Virginia National Guard director of the joint the staff.

Additional Soldiers, Airmen and Virginia Defense Force members will be on duty in Richmond and Fort Pickett and remotely to provide mission command, logistics, administrative and public information support.