(Chicago, IL) — February 1, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today ordered more than 500 Illinois National Guard troops to confront the “Snowasauras Rex” winter storm belching snow across the state, by helping stranded motorists on interstate highways.
The troops will be stationed at rest areas along interstate highways, including Interstate 70 and those north of I-70, and will coordinate with Illinois State Police to ensure the safety of travelers stranded along the roads by the winter storm.
“These troops from the Illinois National Guard will help ensure public safety along the roadways, and I urge everyone to exercise caution when traveling,” said Quinn.
Illinois National Guard troops deployed for this mission are from the following units:
- The 2/106th Cavalry Squadron based in Kewanee, with subordinate units from Galva, Dixon and Pontiac, which are being deployed to the northern part of the state.
- The 766th Engineer Company based in Decatur, the 1844th Transportation Company based in Quincy and the 3637th Maintenance Company based in Springfield, which are being deployed to the central part of the state.
- The 634th Brigade Support Battalion based in Sullivan and the 233rd Military Police Company based in Springfield, which are being deployed to the southern part of the state.
In addition, an Illinois National Guard headquarters element is being drawn from the 65th Troop Command Brigade and 183rd Fighter Wing, both from Springfield.
Troops stationed along the highways will carry supplies such as water, snack bars and roadside safety tips to provide to stranded motorists. Guard members will also relay information regarding road conditions, vehicle accidents and stranded motorists to state police officers working in the area.
”Our Soldiers and Airmen respond to the Governor’s call to help in state emergencies just as we answer the President’s call to serve overseas,” said Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of the Illinois National Guard.
Quinn also activated the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield Monday afternoon to coordinate the state’s response to the storm. The center will operate around the clock until the storm threat subsides.
Illinois travelers can check on highway conditions by calling 1-800-452-IDOT (4368) or visiting the IDOT’s road conditions website at www.gettingaroundillinois.com and clicking on “Winter Road Conditions.”