Louisiana Guard winds down Ida response

By Staff Sgt. Josiah Pugh, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office

Louisiana National Guard engineer work teams assigned to the 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company, 225th Engineer Brigade completed the massive build of a 24-Bay Improved Ribbon Bridge (IBR), Jean Lafitte, La., Sept. 5, 2021. During Hurricane Ida’s initial impact, the only bridge leading into the community of Barrataria was destroyed due to the strong storm surge. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Steven McCoppin)

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard activated one hundred percent of its Soldiers and Airmen to respond to devastated communities around the state in the wake of Hurricane Ida’s destruction.

At landfall, Ida’s sustained winds measured 150 miles per hour, tying Hurricane Laura of 2020 and the 1856 Last Island Hurricane as the strongest recorded storm to hit Louisiana.

The LANG supported numerous missions, including food and water distribution, transportation, communications, public works, engineering, emergency management, mass care, emergency assistance, logistics management, COVID testing, public safety, security, traffic control, generators, power supply and food bank operations.

More than 6.7 million meals were distributed, along with 7.9 million liters of water, 1.3 million bags of ice and 310,245 tarps. A LANG floating bridge assisted in the crossing of 30,710 vehicles. LANG engineers emplaced 1,689 super sacks to fight flooding, assessed 5,314 miles of road, and cleared 2,946 miles of road in 20 parishes. LANG ultimately rescued 397 citizens and 65 pets.

The round-the-clock efforts of the LANG did not go unnoticed by their commander-in-chief.

Louisiana National Guardsmen assigned to the 225th Engineer Brigade work to fill super sacks that assist in flooding blockade, Des Allemands, La., Sept. 1, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Josiah Pugh)

“I want to personally thank all of you, the men and women of the Louisiana National Guard, for your service to our citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.” said Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. “You are critical to our response and recovery missions.”

Louisiana National Guardsmen with the 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company ferry emergency responders and equipment from Lafitte to Barataria to assist locals with recovery efforts, Jean Lafitte, La., Sept. 4, 2021. The only bridge to Barataria was damaged during Hurricane Ida and was rendered inoperable. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Lt. Steven McCoppin)

The LANG worked with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to support generator requests to assist areas that lost power with 395 generators serving communities.

More than 3,500 Guardsmen from Ala., Alaska, Ark., Fla., Ga., Ill., Kan., Ky., Miss., Mo., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Puerto Rico, S.C., Tenn. and Texas came to Louisiana’s aid. Additionally, more than 400 active duty and reserve service members were integrated into the response missions.

“I do want to thank the tremendous men and women we have in the Louisiana National Guard, their families, their employers and our civilian employees,” said Maj. Gen. D. Keith Waddell, the Adjutant General of Louisiana. “Without all of them, our Louisiana National Guard couldn’t do all the great things it’s done over the last eighteen months.

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