Guard assists with water support

WARRENTON, VA, August 29, 1999 -- Soldiers from Company B, 229th Engineers, are taking part in a Virginia National Guard operation to provide water to drought-stricken Virginia farmers and have 5,000 gallons of water located at the Warrenton National Guard Armory.

The Virginia National Guard has water pumping assets deployed to three communities in Virginia -- Warrenton, Lexington and Bedford.

Water trailers and a flat bed truck with two 2500-gal. Pods were dispatched on Friday to the three communities in hopes of alleviating the area farmers' plight. The units are working with local VDOT representatives to get water flowing.

A 6,000-gal. tanker from Fort Pickett is working at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington; two trailers from the 203rd Red Horse Engineering Squadron in Virginia Beach (5,000 gal and 1,500 gal.), are currently staged at the Bedford National Guard Armory and plan to distribute from that site; and the 229th Engineer Battalion from Fredericksburg has the flat bed trailer in Warrenton at the armory to distribute water.

The water distribution point at the Armory in Warrenton is being staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. For more information, call the armory at 540-347-6362. No end date has been set for the operation.

The Bedford site will operate on-call operations working with the local emergency operation center due to the reduced number of requests for water in the area.

This water distribution point is part of a state-wide effort on the part of a number of state agencies to provide relief to farmers who need water for their crops. As part of Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore's response to the drought of 1999, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has set up a toll free drought hotline number: 888-814-2457.

TOP PHOTO: Sgt. Kevin R. Toney (on top of the tank) and Staff Sgt. Brent A. Shoup fill up water tanks from a a VDOT water truck. The water tanks are on station at the Warrenton Armory to provide water for drought-stricken local farmers. (Photo by Capt. A. A. Puryear).

BOTTOM PHOTO: VDOT crews hauled water from a local quarry and pumped it into holding tanks located at the Warrenton armory. (Photo by Capt. A. A. Puryear).

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This page was last updated August 29, 1999.