West Virginia Air Guard Hits the Skies for Disaster Relief

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

NICHOLAS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A team sprung into action Friday afternoon to send help by air to those in need. National Guard members loaded up their Black Hawk with supplies and took to the skies to provide emergency relief.

"We're flying our army helicopters across the state," Air Guard member Brian Wood said. "I'm assessing the storm damage and trying to make contact with local residents to make sure they're OK and safe ... and that they have food and water."

A sky view showed the devastating trail that Superstorm Sandy left behind -- entire homes and businesses collapsed under the weight of heavy snow.

Guard members flew across Nicholas County and found Richwood to be one of the hardest-hit towns.

"With the amount of snow that's fallen, we have seen several buildings around here that the roofs have caved in on," Wood said. "And some local businesses."

Guard members say the damage is unusual, especially for this time of year.

"It's just something that wasn't prepared for and probably something that was a little underestimated," crew chief Jordan Gardo said. "It definitely wreaked havoc on the area."

The crew landed in Summersville to unpack their supplies and ship them off for good use. They say if you need help, don't hesitate to give them a shout.

"If you see us out, signal," Gardo said. "Because we're looking for things like that."

Guard members say they distributed more than 100 pounds of food and water Friday alone. They say local 911 dispatch centers direct them to areas that need the most help.

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