Oklahoma National Guard Rescuing Stranded Drivers

Wednesday, February 2nd 2011, 5:54 pm
By: News On 6

Tara Vreeland, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency before the blizzard even arrived.

That allowed the Oklahoma National Guard to jump into action the moment they were needed. Their call to duty came not long after the blizzard began.

Despite warnings to stay off the roads, some drivers, whatever their reasons, still try to navigate through winter's wrath. If semi's and four wheel drives struggle, cars don't stand a chance.

Many are simply stuck. While the majority are paralyzed from the storm, the Oklahoma National Guard is not.

2/1/2011 Related Story: Oklahoma National Guard Activated To Rescue Stranded Drivers

"We're the only ones rolling," Captain Michael Deneen said. "The police can't, they jump in with us. Everyone else is pretty much stuck. The wreckers didn't start moving until this morning."

The guard dashes through the snow to get to those who can't get anywhere else.

"Gas station somewhere warm, somewhere safe. Somewhere to make a phone call. Just so we know they aren't stranded in their vehicle, radio running, car running, because eventually they are going to run out of gas and then they start to freeze overnight," Captain Deneen said.

The convoy of Humvee's charge on, but it isn't easy to coax people out of their safe cars.

"It does take some convincing," Captain Deneen said. "People are used to their cars. It's a safe place. Safe environment. But if they have a six year old child, you need the help from us."

If a car is vacant, they drive on by. But if it looks like someone may need help the Oklahoma' National Guard will help Oklahoma's own.

The guardsmen that News On 6 followed came from Ponca City and were on their way to Inola and then up to Claremore.