Nat'l Guard prepped to help states hit by Irene

By LOLITA C. BALDOR and RANDY PENNELL | August 27, 2011 | 10:25 PM EDT

JONESTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The National Guard is poised to help with efforts related to Hurricane Irene, with at least 7,500 troops, helicopters and other equipment ready to be deployed.

National Guard Bureau operations director Maj. Gen. David Harris told The Associated Press on Saturday the help will be made available from the South to the Northeast, along the hurricane's trail.

States affected by Irene have made few requests so far. But Harris says he expects that to change as more information about the damage in the storm's wake is known.

The hurricane has thrashed North Carolina and Virginia, knocking out power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses, destroying piers and killing at least six people.

It's expected to make landfall farther north Sunday morning.


Baldor reported from Washington.