The Louisiana National Guard says they’ve rescued over 4,200 citizens and 350 pets as they assist in flood fighting efforts. Guard spokesperson Colonel Pete Schneider says this is the biggest response to a flooding event the Guard has ever seen in Louisiana. He says their equipment has been a vital resource.
“We have engineering equipment, bulldozers and specialized equipment that we can move in there, to include, in our aviation, our helicopters. We’re able to drop those large mega-sandbags that we’ve done in the past,” Schneider said.
Schneider says over one thousand Guardsmen have been activated so far, and the only times the Guard has seen a bigger response is during hurricanes. He says the Guard has been busy on a variety of missions throughout the state.
“We’re doing engineering support. We are helping the parishes in assisting levees. We’re distributing food and water and blankets and cots,” Schneider said.
The LANG has issued more than 70,000 bottles of water, 700 cots and blankets, and over one million sandbags. Guardsmen have utilized 160 high water vehicles, over 40 boats and 3 helicopters over the course of these operations. Schneider says they’ve used almost every asset they have to do search and rescue.
“The current in the subdivision in Ponchatoula was too strong for flat bottom boats or airboats or zodiac boats. So we brought in some of our real heavy duty engineering boats,” Schneider said.
(photo courtesy of Louisiana National Guard)