113th Wing aids in Hurricane Sandy relief
By Senior Airman Jennifer Hotte, 113th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 30, 2012
Joint Base Andrews, Md -- After Hurricane Sandy dumped nearly 10 inches of rain and delivered winds in excess of 50 knots, Joint Base Andrews appeared to have been spared the worst.
The governors of 12 states and the mayor of the District of Columbia had declared a state of emergency because of the storm, which eventually downgraded into a post tropical cyclone as it made its way further inland. The majority of workers returned to an undamaged workspace due to the efforts of airman that assisted in aiding the armory and those that stayed at Andrews to assure that all equipment remained operational.
Approximately 50 members of the 113th Wing assisted the Armory in relief efforts during the hurricane. These efforts consisted of members swearing in as D.C. police officers, assisting in traffic control, and area restriction. After reporting to the Armory many of the 113th Wing were dispatched to the District 2 police station where they helped police officers with power lines being down.
"The first area I was in a massive branch was hanging off a tree by a small twig. In the second area there were two trees that had fallen and that tore down power lines. At the next area a few people did not use our safe U-turn we had set up and two accidents occurred due to this" said Airman First Class Robert Grabowski.
These shifts varied from 12 to more than 24 hours. During these shifts extra precautions were taken in order to protect airman.
Master Sgt. Jeff McGee said, "We wore extra protection, implemented safe driving areas, and alerted drivers of any potential dangers."
While these members were procuring safety throughout the District of Columbia, other members were at Andrews protecting equipment.
"The majority of communications flight rode out the storm here or at the Armory in order to prevent any building or equipment damage," said Senior Airman Paul Laughlin.
Thanks to the efforts of the 113th members were able to return to a safe workspace and assisted in saving lives throughout the District of Columbia.