Story by Senior Airman Mozer Da Cunha/2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
BOSSIER CITY, La. – Airmen joined forces with the Bossier Parish community to fill, transport and place sandbags to defend levees from rising water, March 9 and 10 in Bossier City, Louisiana.
With more than 11 inches of rain affecting the local area during the first day of the storm, rapid reinforcement of levees became necessary to protect families and their homes.
“We are currently here for preventative effort,” said Capt. Damiqua Champion, 2nd Logistics Readiness Squadron operations officer. “With all the storming going on, there will definitely be a lot of run-off, specifically with the waterways leading directly into the Red River. Once that happens, water will have nowhere to spread, and it will head right for this levee.”
In addition to local rainfall, the Red Chute Bayou also received water from multiple locations in throughout the ArkLaTex region.
“Red Chute Bayou is rapidly rising and it’s threatening the top of our levees,” said Capt. Dwayne Elliott, Bossier City Fire Department. “The additional manpower is making a long and tiring process faster and more effective.”
While some Airmen were waist deep in water, others got their hands dirty by filling sandbags.
“Our guys could not do their jobs without the team creating the sandbags,” Elliott said. “We have a sandbag operation happening at the Bossier City Central Garage where there’s a group filling sandbags for local residents and structural protection.”
Demonstrating selfless service, Airmen worked to preserve their adoptive communities.
“Working together with the Airmen has been a huge help,” Elliott said. “Joining forces and working together makes moments like this more manageable. Without the additional manpower, our guys would be working longer hours. We wouldn’t have been able to complete as much as we did, as fast as we did.”
Champion said Airmen worked all kinds of jobs, and even while wet and cold, they kept positive attitudes and a strong sense of community.
“It feels good being out here helping a community that always shows us support. Coming out here is the right thing to do. I can’t see it any other way,” Champion said.