With all six of its National Guard's Black Hawk helicopters still deployed in Iraq, flood-devastated Vermont received help from neighboring New Hampshire and distant Illinois this week in bringing relief to residents stranded in 13 communities after flooding caused by last weekend's Tropical Storm Irene washed out hundreds of the state's roads and bridges.
On Monday, the New Hampshire National Guard sent over two of its Black Hawk helicopters, which transported Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and Vermont's Gov. Peter Shumlin, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch on a survey of flood-damaged areas in the state. On Wednesday the first of eight helicopters on loan from the Illinois National Guard arrived to help with the distribution of food and other supplies as Vermonters continued to struggle with the after effects of the storm that flooded homes, business, and government offices. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn ordered the helicopters and 95 members of the Illinois Guard to Vermont from Rome, New York, where they had been sent to assist in flood relief efforts in that state.
About 200 National Guard members from Maine and 50 from West Virginia were also enroute to Vermont, the Boston Globe reported on Friday.
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Photo: A covered bridge in Vermont (top) and a Black Hawk helicopter in Iraq (bottom)