NC soldiers, engineers deploy to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief

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On Friday, hundreds of N.C. Army National Guard engineers and troops from Fort Bragg were preparing to travel to Puerto Rico to help with recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria.

Among the reasons for the long delay in getting relief supplies distributed in Puerto Rico is that the local government can not get in contact with the local truck drivers; a 4 percent success rate is cited.

"These NC Guard engineers are no strangers to disaster recovery missions having deployed to SC in 2015 to aid in severe flooding recovery, Hurricane Matthew a year ago, and supported debris removal missions this month in western North Carolina from the effects of Hurricane Irma", said Col. Tim Aiken, NC Guard's Director of Joint Operations.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by Hurricane Maria", said Brig.

The South Carolina soldiers are assigned to the 122nd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Edgefield and the 178th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Rock Hill.

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The battalion will help clear debris from roads and make hasty road and infrastructure repairs to allow aid to reach areas cut off by the storm.

The Soldiers are prepared to operate independently for the first five-days in austere conditions and will be on the ground as long as needed which could be up to 60-days. Gen. Thad Martin, Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard.

If you would like to help in the effort to aid those living in Puerto Rico you can do so by going through The Red Cross.

"We want to help in any way we can by rapidly deploying forces that fit some of Puerto Rico's most pressing needs", said Maj.

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