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Students Part of National Guard’s Flood Response

Boots on the ground: The National Guard brings helping hands and a powerful sense of security to a flood-stricken neighborhood.
Boots on the ground: The National Guard brings helping hands and a powerful sense of security to a flood-stricken neighborhood.
Persistent rain fed the creek ... and devastation followed.
Persistent rain fed the creek … and devastation followed.
Going door-to-door for assessment and assistance
Going door-to-door for assessment and assistance
Displaying both the beauty and fury of nature, the 'sock cuts a destructive path through the fall foliage.
Displaying both the beauty and fury of nature, the ‘sock cuts a destructive path through the fall foliage.
Twisted metal, fallen trees and decimated roadways are left in floodwaters' wake.
Twisted metal, fallen trees and decimated roadways are left in floodwaters’ wake.

Penn College students serving with the Army National Guard were among those heeding the call to help residents affected by last weekend’s flash flooding. One of those students – Shakeem J. Thomas, an emergency management technology major from Williamsport – said his unit was initially activated Friday to conduct presence patrols in neighborhoods hit hard by rising water.  “But by Saturday morning, our mission had changed to go into the Hillsgrove community (of Sullivan County) and work alongside first responders and firefighters.”  Thomas and his colleagues were deployed to a site near Loyalsock Creek that didn’t have telephone service, so National Guard personnel were tasked with knocking on doors of houses that were left standing and making sure no one was trapped inside those that were washed off their foundations. “We also helped members of the community clean up and did some damage assessment of the area,” Thomas added. Other students involved in the operation were Preston A. Emert, Montoursville, pre-nursing; Troy B. McBride, Christiana, diesel technology; John A. Gondy, Glenmoore, architectural technology; and Kyle L. Kott, WIiliamsport, civil engineering technology.
Photos by Thomas, who also serves as a student development assistant for the college

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