Wilma Whacks Florida, But Are Residents Too Casual in Their Preparations?

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

Chief Warrant OFC Michael Goodman just flew into Tallahassee to meet up with additional guardsman before heading south into Wilma’s path of destruction.

Soldiers are here from Alabama, Georgia and other states to help where needed. It’s a drill they’re all too familiar with.

Michael Goodman of the Alabama National Guard says, "We came down around Brookville and Punta Gorda and helped out after Charley came through, so it's kind of a mutual aid; help your neighbors when you can."

One Blackhawk is courtesy of the Alabama National Guard. It'll be used to re-supply relief efforts with ice, water and food. The Guard is already assisting with search and rescue.

Tens of thousands of Floridians under evacuation orders chose to ride out the storm instead, and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher says that may have been a fatal mistake for some.

Tom Gallagher says, "The people who stayed home this time, they'll evacuate next time, because even if it's a one, it's nasty, and people die, so you need to listen to what the local people say.”

More than 3,000 troops are moving in to the hardest-hit areas. Soldiers hope their presence will help restore a sense of security to devastated communities. In addition to the 3,100 Guard troops already activated, another 3,000 are on standby.


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