Va. National Guard Soldiers on duty in Wise and Highland counties

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assist the Wise County Sheriff's Office with transporting water Feb. 22, 2015. (Photo courtesy of the Wise County Sheriff's Office)

Virginia National Guard Soldiers assist the Wise County Sheriff’s Office with transporting water Feb. 22, 2015. (Photo courtesy of the Wise County Sheriff’s Office)

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard has almost 20 Soldiers on state active duty in Wise and Highland counties Feb. 22, 2015, to assist local emergency response officials after another round of heavy snow hit the commonwealth.

Ten Soldiers from the Cedar Bluff-based 1033rd Engineer Company, 276th Engineer Battalion are on duty supporting the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. Soldiers transported a citizen in need of medical attention who could not be reached by emergency services personnel and also delivered water to two different locations. Two Soldiers are also working in the county emergency operations center.

Seven Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team are on standby in the Town of Monterey in Highland County. Local emergency services officials estimate more than 20 inches of snow fell in the region over the last 48 hours, and the Soldiers will provide transport for emergency services personnel by Humvee or light medium tactical vehicle if they are called out to a rural area where roads have not been cleared.

Virginia National Guard aviators are also on standby for possible aerial reconnaissance missions.

Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Feb. 16 and authorized up to 300 Virginia National Guard personnel could be brought on state active duty for possible response operations, and more than 125 personnel were staged and ready at locations across the commonwealth by that evening. The Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force were ready to support the Virginia State Police, the Virginia Department of Transportation and other state and local emergency response organizations.

McAuliffe also authorized aviators from the Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment to deliver food, mail and medical supplies Feb. 16 to residents of Tangier Island. The 1.2 square mile island, located in the Chesapeake Bay, had been unable to receive routine seaport deliveries due to icy conditions.

Photos in Highland County on Flickr: