Illinois sends two National Guard choppers to help with Hurricane Florence

Illinois is sending two National Guard units to the hurricane zone, and is ready to send more help if need be. 

Illinois Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Jennifer Ricker said Illinois is one of several states to send help to the hurricane zone. 

Ricker said Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday ordered a pair of Illinois National Guard chopper teams to be sent to North Carolina to help with Hurricane Florence. 

“W don’t want to wait for the federal government, even though they will be there,” Ricker said. “Sometimes states have assets that the federal government cannot provide. And it’s really just an expansion of what we do locally.” 

Ricker said the idea is that all disaster responses start locally, and North Carolina specifically asked for choppers that can help with medical evacuation efforts. 

“We’ve got one Blackhawk and one Chinook that have deployed,” Ricker said.  “One is on a medivac mission, and the other is to provide general support. Their specific mission will be determined once they get there.”

The Chinook team is based in Peoria; the Blackhawk team is from Kankakee. Ricker said both are staging in Tennessee for the time being. 

Anyone who wants to help with the hurricane recovery can visit to see how.

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