Politics

Rick Scott Offers Florida National Guard to Northern Governors for Sandy

By: Jim Turner | Posted: October 31, 2012 3:55 AM

Hurricane Sandy

Taxis on a flooded street in Queens, New York.

Gov. Rick Scott says he has reiterated his offer of aid directly to governors of Northern states impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

But so far, no request for relief from the storm-trained Florida National Guard has been made.

On Monday, as the national media began to center in on comments Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made in a June 2011 primary debate in which he said that states should have a larger role in handling national emergencies, Scott announced he was putting state emergency staff and the Florida National Guard on standby if assistance was requested from any state impacted by the killer storm.

Tuesday, a week before the general election, the governor’s office announced that Scott had contacted the governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island regarding the storm that made landfall Monday night in southern New Jersey.

“When one state is affected by a catastrophic event like this, we all come together to ensure the safety and well-being of every American,” Scott stated in a release.

“The Florida National Guard stands ready to help any of the affected states and can offer resources to those who need it. The thoughts and prayers of our state remain with those who have been impacted by this storm as they continue to respond to its effects.”

President Obama has issued federal emergency decrees for New York and New Jersey, with forecasting firm HIS Global Insight predicting lost business could reach $30 billion on top of storm-related damages.

At least 40 were reportedly killed due to the storm, many of them victimized by falling trees. The storm knocked power out to 8.2 million across the East Coast and forced the financial heart of New York to be shut down Monday and Tuesday.

Scott's office noted that the Guard currently has two maneuver battalions available, which comprise about 1,000 personnel, two CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters and two C-23 Sherpa transport aircraft.



Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.



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