Austin Area Guard Soldiers Leave For Hurricane Ike Duty
Jason Wheeler
2008/09/09

MAJ Kris Krueger of the Texas State Guard explains this year has been busier than expected.
MAJ Kris Krueger of the Texas State Guard explains this year has been busier than expected.

Several dozen area soldiers packed up and hit the road Tuesday morning in preparation for Hurricane Ike, which is now taking aim on the Texas coast.

Just a little more than halfway through hurricane season, some of the volunteers who serve this state during storms have already been called upon to help four different times because of Dolly, Edouard, Gustav, and now Ike.

In an understatement, Maj. Kris Krueger of the Texas State Guard explained, "It has been a little bit busier year than may have been expected."

But Gov. Rick Perry, who ordered 7,500 troops to stand ready for Ike, explained it’s better to be over prepared than overwhelmed.

He’s hoping that mantra will be adopted by Texans who might have been unimpressed with recent storms and are now suffering from 'evacuation fatigue' this time around.

"Our old adage at the state emergency operations center is buses instead of body bags. These are people’s lives that are at stake here," Perry said.

Perry expects most potential evacuees to leave when told to. In case they don’t, the state has assembled a new storm response team called Task Force Ike. The outfit will be specifically charged to go in right after the storm and perform high water rescues.