Kentucky National Guard Helping With Hurricane Preparations

Hurricane Dean is gaining strength as it barrels across the Caribbean.

Experts are saying it could be a category five before it hits Mexico.

The storm has already been blamed for at least eight deaths, a danger that has anyone in its path worried.

While Texas is now expected to only feel the outer fringes of the storm, it could still get rain and gusty winds, a threat that has authorities there taking no chances.

A group of 18 Kentucky National Guardsman left for Austin, TX on Monday morning to assist in rescue and recovery missions should Hurricane Dean strike the U.S. mainland.

The 1st Battalion, 169th Aviation out of Frankfort, which includes two Blackhawk Medevac helicopters will be responsible for water recoveries, rooftop rescues and transporting patients to local hospitals.

The unit's most recent deployments include; Iraq, Afghanistan and several hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Their length of deployment to Texas is expected to last 14 days, but that time window can be extended if needed.

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