Florida National Guard aids in Hurricane Ian response

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Multiple federal and state agencies are aiding in response efforts after Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Florida’s western coast late Wednesday afternoon.

Among them is the Florida National Guard, which announced Wednesday that it has 4,611 Guardsmen activated and ready to help with search and rescue operations, route clearance, aviation and law enforcement support, communication support and humanitarian support, including distributing food and water to those in need.

The Florida National Guard provided liaison officer support at 22 county Emergency Operations Centers across the state, according to William Manley, the Guard’s Deputy Communications Director. However, as needs are assessed throughout the day, many of those assignments have been redirected to areas with more urgent needs.

Hurricane Ian is one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to make landfall in the continental U.S. with winds that reached 150 miles per hour, just seven miles short of becoming a Category 5 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Information about the location and details of individual response missions is currently limited as agencies hurriedly try to provide help, according to Manley.

“Movement on the ground is outpacing the reporting system,” he said.

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This is a breaking news story. Check back for further developments. Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

About Julia Cooper

Julia is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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