La. Air Guard provides essential support to Ida Impacted Areas
By 159th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
BELLE CHASSE, La. – The Louisiana Air National Guard provided assistance Wednesday to the devastated communities of Lafourche Parish following the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.
Points of Distribution (POD) sites were established in Raceland and Thibodaux and manned by 159th Fighter Wing Airmen. PODs allow commodities such as water, food and ice to be distributed in a centralized location for areas impacted by natural disasters.
“We are here for humanitarian efforts. At this POD, we’re distributing water, ice and MREs to individuals,” said 2nd Lt. Mel Kurtis Delin, POD manager. “We donated a pallet to the local hospital because they were out. We’re just trying to help the community the best we can.”
Community leaders are a vital link between the local residents in need and those providing the resources. They assist in determining accessible locations and act as a conduit to disseminate information.
“Unexpectedly, [the Louisiana National Guard] came in a day early, which was really good for the people,” said Duane Bland, pastor of Thibodaux Family Church. “Tuesday began with a 12-hour day, and the people of the community responded very well.”
There are approximately 15 airmen working each site, directing residents through the distribution line and loading their vehicles with essential supplies.
“People really look towards us for help,” said Staff Sgt. Devin Watson, POD team member. “I feel blessed to be able to bless others and assist them in their time of need.”
The LAANG always stands ready to assist and support Louisiana communities during natural disasters.