State Watch

States send National Guard troops to Florida

A boat rocks in the waves in the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian making landfall on September 28, 2022. – Ian intensified to just shy of catastrophic Category 5 strength Wednesday as its heavy winds began pummelling Florida, with forecasters warning of life-threatening storm surges after leaving millions without power in Cuba. (Photo by Bryan R. Smith / AFP) (Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images)

Multiple states are sending National Guard troops to Florida as the state grapples with responding to Hurricane Ian.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) office on Tuesday said 2,000 total guardsmen from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina were being activated to assist, and Mississippi’s governor announced on Wednesday he was sending troops to Florida.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) on Monday authorized the deployment of roughly 1,200 personnel from the state’s National Guard to support Hurricane Ian recovery efforts as the storm approached the mainland.

“As Florida braces for the impact of Hurricane Ian, the Tennessee National Guard stands ready to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm,” said Lee. “I commend our Guardsmen and women for representing the Volunteer State and answering the call to help Floridians in need.”

The state said it was also sending three helicopters to assist the guard’s effort.

“We have a tremendous amount of experience responding to natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes and we are ready to help the citizens of Florida,” said Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes, Tennessee’s adjutant general. 

“It is why we wear the uniform and once again it’s the strength of the National Guard on display,” he continued. “We’re grateful for the families, employers and communities for their continued ongoing support to our Guardsmen.”

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said on Wednesday his state was sending about 20 soldiers and airmen from his state’s National Guard

“Florida has consistently been there for us in our time of need and I approved this deployment in order to assist in their emergency response efforts,” Reeves said in a statement. “All of Mississippi is praying for Florida amidst Hurricane Ian.”

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Tuesday signed an executive order authorizing up to 500 guardsmen to be activated for the storm, also declaring a state of emergency in Georgia.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) on Wednesday authorized the activation of 80 National Guard troops. 

Ian’s remnants are expected to pass through Georgia and North Carolina later in the week, although the fallout is likely to be far less than the Category 4 storm that made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier on Wednesday.

Tags Bill Lee Bill Lee Brian Kemp Florida Georgia Georgia National Guard Hurricane Ian Jeff Holmes Mississippi Mississippi National Guard North Carolina North Carolina National Guard Ron DeSantis Roy Cooper Roy Cooper Tate Reeves Tate Reeves Tennessee Tennessee National Guard
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