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Quinn calls out National Guard

Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Quinn has activated over 500 Illinois National Guard troops to help deal with the blizzard. The troops will be deployed to rest areas on Interstate highways from I-70 north. Here are the units that have been called up…

· The 2/106th Cavalry Squadron based in Kewanee, with subordinate units from Galva, Dixon and Pontiac, which are being deployed to the northern part of the state.
· The 766th Engineer Company based in Decatur, the 1844th Transportation Company based in Quincy and the 3637th Maintenance Company based in Springfield, which are being deployed to the central part of the state.
· The 634th Brigade Support Battalion based in Sullivan and the 233rd Military Police Company based in Springfield, which are being deployed to the southern part of the state.
· In addition, an Illinois National Guard headquarters element is being drawn from the 65th Troop Command Brigade and 183rd Fighter Wing, both from Springfield.

I embedded with the 233rd in Iraq. Truly a great bunch of soldiers, but many are Springfield-area cops, so I hope this doesn’t detract from the capital city’s deployment efforts.

More from the press release…

Troops stationed along the highways will carry supplies such as water, snack bars and roadside safety tips to provide to stranded motorists. Guard members will also relay information regarding road conditions, vehicle accidents and stranded motorists to ISP officers working in the area.

They’re gonna give roadside safety tips to stranded motorists?

“Hi, I’m from the Illinois National Guard. I see you and your family are stranded and freezing. Here’s a list of things you should do. Oh, and here’s an energy bar. Enjoy.”

Let’s hope it doesn’t go like that.

Stay safe out there. And if you see anyone from the 233rd, tell them I said hey.


  1. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:02 pm:

    Safety tips? It’s enough to make me nostalgic for Linc Hampton on WGN.

  2. - amalia - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:03 pm:

    Thanks to the Guard for working to keep the people of Illinois safe.

    It is quite scary reading the Chicago Tribune Blizzard Blog. The warnings about power outages are dire. The potential for wires whipping around is dangerous, and not only because it would disconnect us all from each other on line!

  3. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:06 pm:

    Shouldn’t Quinn be heading to Disney World right now? I thought that’s what responsible governors did.

  4. - shore - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:07 pm:

    It’s a test of the competence of his administration.

  5. - Irish - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:18 pm:

    Let’s hope this is overkill and they are not needed. And let’s also send a few thoughts and prayers to these guys. It isn’t going to be fun and games out there and just cause you are in a deuce and a half doesn’t mean you can’t have problems. These guys are going out to help those who weren’t smart enough or didn’t have the choice to stay home. They would rather be home taking care of their own families during this storm.

    A big thank you and a stay safe out there to them.

  6. - OneMan - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:20 pm:

    I am sorry you are stuck, but here is a pamphlet on driving in snow, don’t mind the cars with fins in the pictures we can’t afford to update them right now.

    But here have a Powersauce bar, endorsed by Reineir Wolfcastle

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    A wise and cautious move by Quinn. Compare and contrast with Gov. Christie’s actions when he was faced with the same situation.

    Here’s to the guard, cops, firefighters, utility workers, plow operators, tow-truck drivers etc. who will be doing the heavy lifting the next couple of days.

  8. - Publius - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    I think it is an appropriate move to be on the safe side. If he didn’t call them out people would complain that he sat there and did nothing. If they’re out people will feel safer

  9. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:30 pm:

    If it was Gov. Christie, he’d make the call from Orlando but require him image and a “Christie for President” slogan be on all the state paid tips and power bars being distributed to motorists.

  10. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:33 pm:

    I have all kinds of issues with Quinn. But at least he wants to do the right thing, and this is a good example. It was a judgment call, he took responsibility, good for him. Imagine what Blago would do, if you can bear to….

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:34 pm:

    Back when I owned a Jeep I’d go get a buddy and we’d pull stranded cars out of the snow. The leased CTS has all-wheel drive, but isn’t exactly a towing car. I kinda miss those days.

  12. - Publius - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:36 pm:

    Who would want to go out in this mess, stay inside, they finally decided to shut down UIS

  13. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:38 pm:

    Christie left Soprano Land for Disney so he could plan his taxpayer funded campaign ads to run in IL
    Verrrrrry Smart.
    Then he wants IL biz to hit the Jersey shore so he can use their $$$ to pay for NY sports teams to export NJ cash across the Hudson.
    Sounds like a plan. Who is heading(so to speak)
    IL for Christie? Let’s see Rutherford is busy, Dillard has retiring, anyone know a chubby guy to head this charade? Wait. How about Billboards Cross — the man with the plan!

  14. - JN - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:39 pm:

    Maybe the folk that usually write his press releases are snowed in or something. It is good that we have the guard’s equipment out on the road, contributing wherever they are able.

  15. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    The Big Snow of January 1979, I made a fortune jumping and towing cars and plowing. Worked around the clock for two days and the tips were off the charts.

  16. - Pelon - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:44 pm:

    By the time the National Guard gets to someone, I think a “safety lecture” is more appropriate than a “safety tip”. :)

  17. - MrJM - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    If your name isn’t “Dr Suchnsuch” and you don’t work for a “Dr. Suchnsuch” please just give the Guardsmen a break and stay off the friggin’ roads.

    – MrJM

  18. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 12:57 pm:

    Northwestern is closing at 5 and no word yet on opening tomorrow.

  19. - Way Way Down Here - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 1:10 pm:

    In January of 79, I lived on a one block long dead end street on the northside that never saw a plow. By February, after I ramped up from the doorway of my building I would walk the rest of the block above the roof level of the parked cars. THAT was snow.

  20. - Todd - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 1:11 pm:

    took the truck to work. tossed the chains in the back. I ususlly pull someone out of a ditch on the way homne on days like this.

    I wonder if they will let the Guard pull motorists out and try to get them going again, instead of just having them look like they are doing something.

  21. - Joe from Joliet - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 1:19 pm:

    Underground ramp at Stratton is frozen over. Cars are crashing. These are people returning to work after lunch.

    Is SOS off today?

  22. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 3:58 pm:

    Home. Enjoying the weather. Hoping the power stays on. Shout out to the Guard, the snowplow drivers, and to all the folks from the power company out there waiting to help. (Of course, none of them will see this, but we’re thankful to those who serve.)

  23. - Commonsense in Illinois - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 4:53 pm:

    Just got power back after four hours. Job well done power company. Fire going and a good book. Could be worse.

  24. - Just The Way It Is One - Tuesday, Feb 1, 11 @ 5:44 pm:

    Wise decision by the Governor which likely WILL help out a goodly number of folks stuck out there battling this “Land of Lincoln Monster of 2011.” May God watch over and guide them in their work (as well as anyone ELSE helping others out through this mess, in whatever capacity)! I lived through ‘67, ‘79 and every other gargantuan Blizzard in these parts since then–and so far, THIS puppy’s lookin’ REAL ugly about now-from about 400 feet up, actually, it’s lookin’ more like an angry Doberman or Rottweiler, to tell ya the truth…we’ll see where it ranks in the end, but it’s GOT to be in the “Top 5″ before all will be said and done! Happy Groundhog Day (Eve)–I think maybe we should give the little fella a Vacation Day this year actually, and just ASSUME he sees his shadow (as well as the shadows of about 10 milliom Snowflakes that’ll be blowin’ in his face)! Be careful (and as safe as ya can) everybody….

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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