Hurricane Irma evacuees are returning to a soggy, battered Sunshine state. But transportation officials warn, though, you might want to wait.

The first members of the National Guard in Tennessee are being sent to Florida to help with hurricane relief operations as more wait on standby.

The Tennessee Military Department announced Wednesday evening that six airmen from the Tenneessee Air National Guard’s 119th Command and Control Squadron are heading to Camp Blanding, near Jacksonville, Fla.

There, the airmen will assist with establishing communication channels, including helping state and federal agencies talk with one another despite using incompatible systems.


Post Hurricane Irma water being distributed at Byrd Plaza in Cocia. Video by Tim Shortt. Posted 9/13/17.

The 119th CACS has taken part in relief operations after two other hurricanes — Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Gustav in 2008.

The Military Department said that both the Tennessee Air and Army National Guard are preparing other units to respond to Florida, if needed.

“It is imperative that we wait to see what the specific needs are before committing troops and equipment to assist,” Maj. Gen. Max Haston said through a news release.

Reach Natalie Allison at Follow her on Twitter at @natalie_allison.

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