NY National Guard helping with hurricane relief efforts

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LATHAM, NY (WRGB)--Florida has been seeing the worst of what Irma has to offer.

And now, they're about to see the best of what the Army National Guard has to offer.

55 guardsmen, 10 UH 60 Blackhawk Helicopters headed down from New York to the Hardest hit areas in Florida.

Three of those Blackhawks, are leaving from Latham.

First the soldiers were briefed on their mission. Monday.

They'll be doing anything from rescue and recovery operations, flying around FEMA officials to assess the damage, and also putting fires out from above.

That, according to Major Paul Bailie, is what they encountered a lot of after Hurricane Katrina.

"All these areas that lost power and electricity.... as they start putting the grid back on, you're going to get houses that catch on fire," he said.

Their first stop on the mission is Richmond VA, to meet up with other guardsmen, and then to Homestead, just south of Miami.

The plan is for them to stay in Florida until September 30th.

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