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