Louisiana Guard Continues Hurricane Recovery Efforts
American Forces Press Service
BATON ROUGE, La., Sept. 15, 2008 Louisiana National Guardsmen have used high-water vehicles, boats and helicopters to save more than 330 flooding victims in the wake of Hurricane Ike.
Soldiers of the Louisiana Army National Guard rescue a Hackberry, La., family Sept. 14, 2008, following the severe flooding of Cameron Parish caused by Hurricane Ike. U.S. Air Force Photo by Lt. Col. Reid A. Christopherson
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
“Our Guardsmen have proven once again that they are the finest soldiers and airmen in America,” said Army Maj. Gen. Bennett C. Landreneau, Louisiana adjutant general. “They are truly remarkable, working every day to assist their fellow citizens, even though in many cases their own homes were flooded or damaged, and their own families evacuated.”
The Louisiana National Guard’s primary missions are saving lives, providing security for citizens and logistics support for humanitarian relief operations and helping with clearing roads and removing debris.
More than 9,400 Guardsmen have participated in support of operations related to Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav in Louisiana. Full mobilization of the Louisiana National Guard’s 7,000 Guardsmen and more than 2,400 Guardsmen from seven other states continue to support emergency operations.
As the Louisiana National Guard wound down an aggressive, 36-hour search-and-rescue operation -- with aviation missions south of Jennings and boat missions to Hackberry in Cameron Parish being the focus of yesterday’s mission -- they transitioned their efforts to commodity distribution, security, engineer assessments and support to local governments.
Additionally, the Louisiana Guard supported the Corps of Engineers by conducting aerial inspections of locks and control structures across Louisiana’s coastline. After an early assessment, two National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopters air-dropped more than 200 sandbags, weighing 3,000 pounds each, to protect a pumping station in Chauvin, La.
Also yesterday, National Guardsmen cleared more than 48 miles of roadways and hauled more than 1,800 cubic yards of debris, totaling more than 4,200 miles of cleared roadways and 19,000 cubic yards of debris from the hurricanes.
To date, the Louisiana National Guard has distributed more than 11 million packaged meals, 12 million pounds of ice, and 14 million bottles of water.
(From a Louisiana National Guard news release.)