"We are on Zodiac boats with outboard engines and we are making access into these neighborhoods to treat, assess and evacuate as many people as possible", said Lt. Dan Warren, a combat rescue officer with the 212th Rescue Squadron. A National Guard rescue wing is helping to evacuate the thousands of Americans still stranded on St. Martin.
"We are keeping Florida and all those affected by Hurricane Irma in our thoughts and prayers", Maj.
MI is sending an estimated 1,100 Army and Air National Guard troops to Florida to help the state recover from Hurricane Irma and the tropical storm that caused widespread damage and flooding. Additionally, the Governor is deploying Task Force 2 (NYTF-2), a specialized team of first responders and equipment skilled in structural collapse rescue, excavation emergencies, technical rope rescues, confined space rescue, and other specialized rescues to Florida.
The troops, three of whom said they had family in Florida, were set to meet up with another group later Monday at Selfridge Air Base in Harrison Township.
Several members of the brigade recently returned from Texas where they helped in the Hurricane Harvey response.
Their wedding was originally scheduled to take place next week on Jacksonville Beach, but rather than sit on sidelines and watch Hurricane Irma spoil their nuptials, the couple volunteered to assist with response efforts.
The president also amended the disaster declaration for the U.S. Virgin Islands to increase from 75 percent to 90 percent the level of federal cost sharing for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and federal assistance, the White House said.
"We were thankful that there were no injuries reported (from Key West NAS )", he said.
More than 450,000 National Guard airmen and soldiers from across the nation are available to support domestic response efforts.