MADISON, Wis. — Approximately 85 Wisconsin National Guard troops continue to assist local emergency crews with sandbagging operations in Monona and Madison today as floods resulting from heavy rain early last week continue to affect the city.
“There is a potential for more rain, and we are helping the city of Madison prepare to protect
homes,” said Spec. Daniel Kim, a Soldier with 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, assisting with filling sandbags.
The National Weather Service said 11-13 inches of rain fell in parts of Dane County Aug. 20-21 causing local lakes and waterways to swell with floodwaters in subsequent days.
The National Guard troops, from Madison’s 1st Squadron, 105th Cavalry, were called to state active duty to provide additional manpower and assistance to municipal crews as Madison braces for additional rainfall and the potential for more flooding throughout the area. The National Weather Service predicts the area could potentially receive additional rainfall over the course of the next several days.
“It’s not every day we get to do something where we live,” said First Lt. Skylar Croy, a Soldier with the 105th.
Croy lives within walking distance of areas affected by flooding. He said it felt great to be able to help members of his community. He added that all of the Soldiers assisting with sandbagging from the 105th volunteered to help.
“That is really special when you have Soldiers who will step up and help when needed,” Croy said.
Spec. Daniel Moyer, another Soldier with the 105th, said he was proud of the outpouring of support from members of the community who passed by as the Soldiers were working.
“It’s great to see the amount of community effort that’s coming out, more than just the Guard,” Moyer said. He added that neighbors and people passing by would stop and spend hours trying to help their neighbors.
Soldiers with Oconomowoc-based, C Company, 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery and Airmen from Volk Field Air Base also provided mission support yesterday.
Gov. Scott Walker signed Executive Order 303 declaring a state of emergency for Dane County early last week, which authorizes the adjutant general to call elements of the National Guard to state active duty, as he deems necessary.
"It's a privilege to serve the citizens of Wisconsin in their time of need,” said Brig. Gen. David O'Donohue, Wisconsin’s deputy adjutant general for civil support. “Our guard members were enthusiastic and feel great about helping those in their local community." O’Donohue assisted Gov. Walker, Soldiers, and citizens with filling sandbags Saturday morning.
The National Guard fulfills a unique dual-mission as both the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force, but also as the first military responder here in the state during times of emergency. Last fall, the Wisconsin National Guard deployed Soldiers and Airmen to Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to assist with hurricane recovery efforts, and Soldiers responded on multiple occasions to flooding last summer in Monroe County and Burlington, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin National Guard simultaneously remains heavily engaged fulfilling its federal mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. More than 350 Soldiers from the Milwaukee-based 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery deployed to the Middle East this summer and more than 25 Soldiers from the 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade’s Military Engagement Team deployed to the Middle East in March. Meanwhile, a team of Soldiers from the 112th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment deployed to U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in March to provide public affairs support there. Wisconsin Army National Guard aviators from Detachment 5, 641st Aviation deployed to Afghanistan earlier this spring, and Soldiers from the 248th Aviation Support Battalion deployed to the Middle East last September. Approximately 85 Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to the Middle East in January, and 35 Soldiers from West Bend’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 168th Aviation returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in November.
Also in November, approximately 270 Airmen from the 115th Fighter Wing returned to Madison from a deployment to Korea, and more than 100 Airmen from the 128th Air Control Squadron at Volk Field returned from Southwest Asia. Approximately 70 Airmen from the 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee are in the midst of deployments worldwide, and other Airmen from the 128th deployed earlier in the fall as well.