Columbia (Office of the Governor) – Governor Henry McMaster today gave formal authorization to the South Carolina National Guard to place guardsmen on active duty to assist in the recovery of areas affected by the ongoing winter weather event. Specifically, the National Guard will be deploying resources to augment the South Carolina Highway Patrol’s and South Carolina Department of Transportation’s existing efforts along the Interstate 95 corridor and other affected areas.
“There are South Carolinians in need right now, and as always, the National Guard is ready, willing, and able to answer the call of duty and help the brave men and women at the Highway Patrol and Department of Transportation working to provide aid,” said Gov. Henry McMaster.
Approximately 20 guardsmen have been called for duty to assist as part of two Vehicle Recovery Teams (VRT) and liaison personnel to assist impacted counties near the coast affected by snow and ice. A VRT traditionally consists of a Heavy Recovery Truck and two High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles with soldiers who rotate 24 hour operations. The National Guard stands ready to deploy more resources as needed.
“We are there to assist in this team effort to ensure the roadways stay clear, especially as temperatures drop into the night hours and roads have potential for increased ice,” said Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the adjutant general for S.C. “Our citizens should exercise caution, stay off the roads in affected areas, and follow advisories from their county emergency management personnel.”
South Carolina statute 25-1-350 gives Adjutant General Livingston the ability to deploy such resources for a period of not more than 15 days with the consent of the governor.