COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Mississippi’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles, visited Columbia Saturday to open a brand new National Guard Readiness Center.
The city’s former armory had been destroyed in the Dec. 23, 2014 tornado.
While there, Boyles said the Mississippi National Guard is ready to respond to Tropical Storm Barry.
Boyles said 2,500 Guard personnel are on drill throughout the state this weekend and can help with security or high-water operations if called upon by the governor.
“I’ve talked to the governor, I’ve talked to Greg Michel with MEMA, so we’re communicating constantly, getting ready for this weekend,” said Boyles. “And I’ve got Guardsmen who are here in uniform, all over the state this weekend and if necessary, we’ll keep them on orders if we have to.”
Also preparing for the storm is Mayor Justin McKenzie of Columbia.
He said city crews cleaned drains and police delivered sandbags to some businesses and homeowners in anticipation of bad weather.
"We’ve been working, cleaning storm drains and I had a crew out jetting some lines that are known to give us a little issue and we’re as prepared as we can be, now, we’re just going to hope for the best,” McKenzie said.
The new armory in Columbia is 43,000 square feet.
Total cost of the facility is $11.6 million.