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Gov. Tony Evers sends Wisconsin National Guard to aid with Hurricane Dorian

Kaitlyn Riley

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This photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a satellite view of Hurricane Dorian taken at 10:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (NOAA via AP)

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed Executive Order #42 Friday which authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to assist civil authorities in Florida in response to Hurricane Dorian.

The order also directs all state agencies to help the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs in responding to the situation, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“Coming together and helping others in their time of need is what Wisconsinites do,” Evers said. “The members of the Wisconsin National Guard stand ready to help Florida as the state and its people prepare to face this dangerous storm and recover from the damage it may inflict upon them,” Gov. Evers said.

The order declares a State of Emergency under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) in response to a request from the state of Florida. The EMAC is an aid agreement between United States states and territories, which can be utilized to enhance federal emergency response efforts.

Forecasters said “catastrophic” Category 5 Hurricane Dorian is battering Great Abaco island in the Bahamas. The U.S. National Hurricane Center described the pounding that parts of the northwest Bahamas received as a “life-threatening situation.” It says the hardest-hit areas face dangerous storm surge and urged residents not to venture out should Dorian’s eye pass overhead.

Dorian is forecasted to dance near Florida’s coast, but experts said Florida’s fate may be determined by just a few miles here or there. Even though the official track for Dorian by the National Hurricane Center keeps the eye offshore, it is cutting it so close that the center director says it’s too close for comfort. Hurricane-force winds may end up dying down only a few miles offshore, or just a wobble in the storm track between now and Tuesday and Wednesday could mean a direct hit.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.