Gov. Nikki Haley has signed an executive order activating 21 S.C. National Guard soldiers to help with North Carolina’s response to Hurricane Irene.
The order authorizes three S.C. helicopters to aid North Carolina officials in swift water rescue operations, with an additional nine soldiers from the “urban search and rescue unit,” according to Tim Pearson, Haley’s chief of staff.
North Carolina officials asked for assistance under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, an interstate aid agreement.
“They may not actually call these folks, they just want them ready to go if they need them,” Pearson said.
Hurricane Irene is scheduled to make landfall along the North Carolina coast sometime Saturday morning. Earlier this week, Haley took the S.C. National Guard off alert status once it became clear Irene’s impact in South Carolina would be limited.