Massachusetts Governor Activates National Guard

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BOSTON — Governor Charlie Baker today activated the Massachusetts National Guard under state active duty to fulfill support requests from four Cape Cod communities impacted by Tuesday’s tornadic weather: Dennis, Harwich, Chatham, and Yarmouth. Support efforts will begin today to assist local officials as they manage debris and continue to clear roads in each community.

The activation order allows for up to 500 guardsmen who will also be joined by Department of Correction (DOC) Community Work Crews comprised of approximately 221 DOC employees and 88 inmates from minimum custody facilities. National Guard troops and DOC Community Crews will be spread out evenly across the four towns beginning today. The recovery efforts will be aided by MassDOT and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), who are providing vehicles and heavy equipment. The activation order will remain in place until support for debris operations is no longer necessary.

“Earlier this week several Cape Code communities suffered significant damage from two tornadoes and severe weather, and I am activating the National Guard and sending DOC work crews to provide additional resources in the towns requesting assistance,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Officials from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Barnstable County, State Police, DOC, MassDOT, DCR, the Department of Fire Services and local first responders have been working around the clock since Tuesday and these additional resources will help the residents, businesses and visitors of Cape Cod recover as soon as possible.”

“Our administration is committed to working alongside local officials in the wake of this week’s storm damage,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We thank all of the first responders and emergency personnel for their swift action in dangerous conditions and encourage members of each community to remain safe and continue helping their neighbors in need.”

“Public safety and a return to normalcy are the priority,” said Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “Our soldiers and airmen not only support federal missions overseas, but the National Guard is always ready to support our communities in time of need. We are the only military component which has a dual state and federal mission. We are uniquely suited to respond to disasters within the community. I’m confident in our ability to help the state’s efforts in the affected areas.”

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