SC National Guard continues storm-related emergency assistance

jwilkinson@thestate.comFebruary 14, 2014 

— The South Carolina National Guard is continuing to assist with emergencies related to Winter Storm Pax, its fourth straight days of operations.

Five teams of six soldiers each armed with chainsaws, humvees, skip and front end loaders and a wrecker are being dispatched for debris removal, mostly downed trees.

“We’re shifting the focus of operations to assisting with the recovery,” said S.C. Guard spokeswoman Maj. Cindi King.

King said the Guard is moving to hard-hit Aiken County, where more than 40,000 are still without power due to downing power lines.

Guard commanders are also assessing other hard hit areas, and can respond when individual counties request assistance, King said.

More than 200 S.C. National Guard soldiers have provided support around the state to different agencies.

During the first 48 hours, 14 wrecker teams scrambled around the state to assist the S.C. Department of Public Safety, aiding stranded motorists along roads. They pulled 12 tractor trailers stuck on highways and assisted dozens of motorists.

On Thursday the Guard mobilized 38 dump trucks to transport road salt from Charleston to Columbia. They moved 660 tons in the first 24 hours toward goal of 3,000 tons.

The Guard also delivered more than 400 meals-ready-to-eat and cases of bottled water to American Red Cross warming stations in Horry, Dillon and Marion counties.

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