Wisconsin Guardsmen depart Friday for Hurricane Michael relief

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MADISON (WKOW) — Governor Walker’s executive order to send a team of 12 National Guard members to Florida will take flight first thing Friday morning. They’re being sent to conduct relief operations in response to Hurricane Michael.

Two UW-60 Black Hawk helicopters will help pick up stranded individuals and provide several resources to help those recovering from Michael.

“It’s really shocking at first and then the adrenaline gets going,” said Guardsmen Matthew Finzel. “You just fall back into instincts and do what you’ve been trained to do.”

Almost all of the twelve leaving for Florida just returned from North Carolina, responding to help people impacted by Hurricane Florence.

Capt. Robert Hofer said the quick turnaround is preparing them for the next one.

“We responded to Hurricane Florence within 48 hours and this time it’s 24,” said Capt. Hofer. “Things went even more smoothly so everyone knew what went well and what we could improve on and the results show that.”

Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin National Guard continue to monitor the situation and review requests to determine if there are other areas in which Wisconsin can provide support.

The Wisconsin Guard has also been busy assisting civil authorities in the state. Hundreds helped with sandbagging efforts after historic rainfall soaked southern Wisconsin in late August and early September.

Emilee Fannon

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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