As Hurricane Irma barrels through the Caribbean and takes aim at Florida, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is offering New York's assistance to areas affected by the natural disaster.
Cuomo said the state has communicated with Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello and informed that the state is ready to help. The New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing is on standby.
"Just as New York stood shoulder to shoulder with Texas and Louisiana during Hurricane Harvey, we will provide any support and assistance we can for the people of Puerto Rico, Florida, the Dominican Republican and other Caribbean islands in the path of Hurricane Irma," he said.
After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Cuomo deployed the New York Air National Guard to assist with the response. In addition to the personnel, two HC-130 rescue airplanes, three HH-60 rescue helicopters and several boats were sent to Texas.
The Air National Guard's rescue team rescued 546 people in the Houston area after the hurricane made landfall. The airmen returned to New York Saturday.
Hurricane Irma could pose more problems for the southeastern United States. The category 5 hurricane with winds of 180 mph has caused damage and power outages in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.
As the storm approaches the U.S., hurricane and storm surge watches have been issued for South Florida. The hurricane is expected to hit Florida this weekend.
"We, unfortunately, have much first-hand experience with extreme weather and its aftermath," Cuomo said. "Just as others have helped New York recover from Sandy, Irene, Lee and other severe, and increasingly common, '100-year-storms,' we will be there for those who need our help."