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Pentagon Rushes Medical Personnel To New York, National Guard Soldiers Deliver Fuel

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NATL GDSANDY
Maryland National Guard Troops Evacuate Stranded Family (AP Photo by Alex Brandon) | AP

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon on Wednesday flew 120 medical personnel into New York City to help care for elderly and at-risk patients in nursing homes, part of a broad array of storm-related military missions that active-duty, reserve and National Guard troops are undertaking.

The military medical volunteers came from Colorado, Ohio and Texas, the Pentagon said. Pentagon officials could not immediately say where the medical personnel are being deployed.

The urgent air mission came as some 10,000 Army and Air National Guard troops spread out across the storm-battered region from Maine to North Carolina, on missions ranging from presence patrols in Brooklyn to rescuing snow-bound motorists in West Virginia.

In Manhattan, National Guard troops lugged fuel to a generator on the 13th floor of Bellevue Hospital, according to Eric Durr, spokesman for the New York National Guard.

Guardsmen also are providing communications between first responders and state, county and local emergency operations centers.

The Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Northern Command are rushing 200 high-volume water pumps to New York, and the Corps has 80 truckloads of water on the way to West Virginia, where heavy snow has knocked out power and water in many areas.

National Guardsmen work under state authority, while the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Northern Command and other active-duty units are assigned by the Pentagon to work under the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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The Huffington Post is eager for insights from our community, especially people with experience in power, infrastructure and engineering, on the adequacy of emergency preparation in advance of Hurricane Sandy, and the degree to which past disasters have informed adequate planning and construction. Please send a note to sandytips@huffingtonpost.com with insights and suggestions for the important questions that need to be asked of relevant private sector and government officials, and point us toward stories that need to be pursued.

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