The Vermont National Guard is planning how to offer help to Massachusetts, as that state faces the very challenging task of cleaning up mountains of snow. Gov. Charlie Baker, R-Mass., put out the call for extra personnel and heavy equipment to assist with snow removal following a series of powerful winter storms. That call included a request for help from the Vermont Guard, Guard leadership told New England Cable News.
In 2011, Vermont got assistance from Guard units in other states after Tropical Storm Irene, so would like to return the favor, said Gen. Mark Lovejoy. “I think for the guardsmen, the individual guardsmen, it’s good to go out of state and help our neighbors as they did us in our time of need,” Lovejoy told NECN.
Lovejoy said plans should be finalized Wednesday, at which time the Guard is likely to be announcing specifics about its response. Some formal procedural steps still must be taken, he noted.
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“We want to help Massachusetts,” Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. “They've been pounded with snow and we want to help. I think there’s a role not only the Vermont Guard but also the neighboring states can play in helping, and we will.”
The Vermont Agency of Transportation confirmed to NECN that it was also asked for help via the mutual aid request process that connects states dealing with emergencies.
However, VTrans operations director Scott Rogers said the agency will likely have to say no to this request for mutual aid in Massachusetts snow removal. Rogers said VTrans workers are exhausted from storm cleanup in Vermont, and that more snow is expected on Thursday. That means state workers will likely be needed to tend to Vermont’s roadways later this week, Rogers indicated.