By Staff Sgt. David C. Kirtland, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana National Guard, at the direction of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, continues to assist local and federal agencies in response to flooding in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana caused by Hurricane Harvey.
The LANG has approximately 1,110 Guardsmen responding to emergency operations, to include search and rescue by vehicle and boat, distribution of water and MREs, and security and shelter support. The LANG currently has more than 50 high-water vehicles, 20 boats, and eight helicopters in support of the current mission set.
“Our Guardsmen are dedicated to the ongoing needs of Louisiana citizens and our Texas neighbors,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG. “This mission, transporting citizens out of harm’s way to safety is what the National Guard is all about and I am so very proud of the spirit and dedication of everyone involved.”
Curtis said it’s been a tremendous team effort working with multiple local, state and federal agencies.
In Lake Charles, the LANG established a movement control center to coordinate with more than 100 buses to transport Texas citizens rescued from flooded areas and bring them to a shelter in Lake Charles, then onward to shelters in Shreveport and Alexandria.
Lt. Col. William E. Haygood, commander of the movement control center said they have processed more than 1,000 evacuees and are continuing to receive more than 25 citizens an hour.
“It’s has been a challenging, yet rewarding experience to serve with such committed professionals from so many different organizations with only one goal, to ease the suffering of citizens of Texas who’ve been affected by this storm,” said Haygood.
To date, the LANG has rescued approximately 2,923 citizens and 47 pets in Louisiana and Texas. The LANG has distributed more than 7,900 bottles of water and 493,000 sand bags.
Louisiana’s Guardsmen are trained, ready and equipped to stand up at any moment to protect lives and property, maintain communications, and ensure the continuity of operations and government.