DETROIT (WWJ) – Stand down. That’s the message for about 1,000 National Guard members scheduled to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Troops with the Michigan National Guard are no longer heading to Florida to help with recovery efforts.
Spokesperson Lt. Colonel Dawn Dancer says they got a call late this Tuesday morning that officials in Florida had modified their request for assistance, after reassessing the situation and resources.
Dancer says they were told they weren’t needed after all:
“We had just started at 8 o’ clock to send our vehicles, our convoyes down I-75 and we got notice before they even got across the Michigan border,” she says.
“I think the great preparation that the state of Florida and the Florida National Guard has done — I think that’s part of the reason why … resources aren’t needed … they were prepared,” said Dancer.
And so the troops turned around. But Dancer says they’re on standby and ready should Florida or any other state need help.
Two days after Irma roared into the island chain with 130 mph winds, residents were allowed to return to the parts of the Keys closest to Florida’s mainland. But the full extent of the death and destruction there remained a question mark because communications and access were cut off in places reports sister station CBSMiami.com.
The number of people without electricity in the late-summer heat dropped to around 10 million — half of Florida’s population. Officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored. About 110,000 remained in shelters across Florida.
Seven deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with four in South Carolina and two in Georgia. At least 35 were killed in the Caribbean.