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Minnesota National Guard
National Guard is keeping watch, Flood Fight 2009

March 28, 2009

MOORHEAD, Minn " As flood waters loom in Moorhead, Minn, National Guard members patrol the streets to aid residents and local authorities in the fight against the flood

Patrolling in a Humvee, Staff Sgt Robin Mattson and Spc Sims, both from the Moorhead-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, check water depths in the streets throughout Zone One of Moorhead on Mar 28, 2009 They update their map with a multitude of colors signifying depths of one to two inches, three to five inches, six to twelve inches and more They also keep track of the condition of standing temporary dikes and any new dikes that have been constructed

The guardsmen stop along the route to speak with local residents Wading through almost waist high waters in some areas, they make their way to the people anxiously watching temporary dikes in the roadways and along homes Residents update the guardsmen of water levels, current situations and the well-being of neighbors

"I try to keep the mood light with a joke or just friendly small talk in hopes of helping to lift spirits," said Sims

With a friendly wave, sometimes a smile and often a snap of a photo, residents are aware that the National Guard is here "The Guard is here in ready reserve to provide support if it gets worse Also, I think that the mere presence of guard members gives residents a better feeling of the situation" Staff Sgt Mattson said

Both Mattson and Sims spent over a year deployed to Iraq in 2006-2007 supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom The National Guard has a duel mission, operating for both the Federal and State governments The flood fight activation is an example of supporting the state

Patrolling the streets gave the Soldiers a somewhat familiar feeling of their deployment, yet very different at the same time Sims talked about patrolling the neighborhoods in their Humvee, "Riding in this seat brings back memories of Iraq It's a whole new feeling though, being able to help out people here, back home"

In the days prior, National Guard members have been controlling traffic to allow safer access to volunteers coming to locations that need help They have aided residents with sandbagging efforts They have also supported the local authorities where needed

More than 600 Minnesota National Guard members, under the direction of the Governor, are providing assistance to civil authorities in support of Flood Fight 2009

Master Sgt Jason Rolfe "ยข 148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
March 28, 2009

March 28, Flood Fight 2009: National Guard keeps watch - Low-Res
Follow the Minnesota National Guard's efforts in the fight at Flood Fight 2009.

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