PERRY, OK (KSWO) –The Oklahoma National Guard activated more than 130 guardsmen on Saturday to help with the winter storm.
The storm dumped inches of snow and ice across western Oklahoma, and it knocked out power to more than a quarter million people.
The guardsmen, working with OHP and ODOT, were deployed late Saturday evening, Sunday and Monday along high traffic areas where motorists were expected to have the most difficulty. The soldiers worked in Stranded Motorists Assistance Recovery Teams (SMART) and used Humvees to get around to those in need.
The Oklahoma National Guard said they helped approximately 170 people and provided wrecker service to several drivers who slid into ditches. They worked from Guthrie, Oklahoma, to the Kansas border along I-35 and throughout western Oklahoma along I-40.
Helping fellow Oklahomans is something many of the guardsmen signed up to do, and they quickly reacted to several crises in the worsening conditions.
Sergeant Corey Greenwood of Cache said his group took a family to a hotel after they were involved in a serious accident when their van was hit by a semi-truck and flipped onto its side.
"The three of us jumped out," said Greenwood, a military policeman with the 45th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 45th IBCT. "I climbed on top of the van and pulled the door open. Everyone had been wearing seatbelts and we got them out safely."
Greenwood and his team were assigned to the Perry area after they volunteered for the mission.
"I like helping people," said Greenwood. "It makes you feel needed. It's nice to see the appreciation in people's faces when you have helped them."
The Army and Air National Guard provided more than a dozen 15 to 100 kilowatt generators to El Reno, Kingfisher, Apache, Gracemont and Oklahoma City to help local officials keep essential services online. Portable water containers were sent to Broken Bow to give the residents potable water.
Their mission is expected to wrap up later in the week.