Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is sending the state's National Guard to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief efforts on the island.
The South Carolina soldiers who'll be going are assigned to the 122nd Engineer Battalion headquartered in Edgefield and the 178th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Rock Hill. They're going to help in clearing roads and reaching areas cut off from the storm as well as clearing debris and getting infrastructure restored.
The island was devastated by Hurricane Maria this month, as that storm's powerful winds knocked out much of the infrastructure in the country, leaving most of Puerto Rico's 3.6 million inhabitants with no food, water, or power. Some areas also dealt with heavy flooding that's as bad as what was experienced in Texas with Hurricane Harvey.
"It is an inspiration to see South Carolinians answer the call of duty, without hesitation, to help our neighbors in need," said Governor Henry McMaster. "The people of Puerto Rico have had our thoughts and prayers throughout this devastating and trying time, and now they will have the dedicated men and women of South Carolina's Army National Guard working side by side with them to restore their home and get them back on their feet. Peggy and I ask that all South Carolinians join us in praying for our men and women in uniform and for the people of Puerto Rico."
"I am always so proud of our South Carolina soldiers who are ready at a moment's notice to help our fellow neighbors in need, even hundreds or a thousand miles away," said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, Jr., the adjutant general for South Carolina. "Our thoughts and prayers are with our neighbors in Puerto Rico whose homes and livelihoods were devastated by Hurricane Maria."