By Pat Loeb
WILLOW GROVE, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania National Guard has put 750 soldiers and airmen on alert in our region to help local officials deal with the emergencies that Hurricane Sandy is expected to bring.
Col. Sam Hayes is running the Southeast Pennsylvania “Sandy” task force, with 750 soldiers and airmen at his disposal and the capacity to surge to several thousand, if need be.
Hayes (right) says the state has given him the leeway to determine what he needs.
“They’re being very supportive of what we’re trying to do here to protect life, limb, and property,” he tells KYW Newsradio.
Pennsylvania is the only National Guard with Strykers — tactical military vehicles that come in handy during a hurricane because they can go through four feet of water to rescue stranded people, carry supplies through flood waters, or get medical personnel where they’re needed.
Hayes, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is confident his units can handle Sandy.