UPDATED: February 2 at 2:46 p.m.
The Illinois National Guard Servicemembers have begun Phase Two of Operations.
Gov. Pat Quinn on Feb. 2 mobilized additional resources to assist the Illinois State Police rescue stranded motorists. Much of the Illinois National Guard manpower that was initially stationed in southern and central Illinois was pushed to the Chicago area to assist the northern part of the state.
Illinois State Police and Illinois National Guard Soldiers are working together to rescue stranded motorists and other citizens in need. Once rescued, the stranded motorists are being taken to warming shelters set up across the state.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he has ordered the activation of about 500 Illinois National Guard troops to assist motorists who may become stranded along Illinois highways over the next few days.
Some of those soldiers being activated are from the 1844th Transportation company located in Quincy. These soldiers along with members of the guard from Decatur and Springfield will be deployed to areas of Central Illinois.
"We must do everything we can to keep motorists safe during this massive winter storm. Illinois Department of Transportation crews are working non-stop to clear roadways, and the Illinois State Police will also be closely monitoring our highways," said Governor Quinn. "These troops from the Illinois National Guard will help ensure public safety along the roadways, and I urge everyone to exercise caution when traveling."
The soldiers who are deployed will carry with them supplies such as snack bars, water and roadside safety tips.
The guard members will also work in conjunction with local Illinois State Police troopers regarding accidents, road conditions and road closures.
There is no word as to how long this temporary deployment will last.