Louisianians head out to help in the Florida panhandle

Louisianians head out to help in the Florida panhandle

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - First responders say it could take more than a week to get a complete assessment of all damage caused by Michael. Many people in Louisiana are already working to get help to victims.

As it became clear Michael would be massive storm Stephanie Wagner with the Louisiana Region of the Red Cross made an unplanned move. Wagner said, “I actually arrived in Tampa on Monday for some divisional meetings and had to pivot.”

She and three others drove to Tallahassee to help get people in shelters ahead of the winds and rain. Wagner said, “We've already accomplished a lot as of last night.” The Red Cross had sheltered more than 4000 people by Tuesday October 9, 2018, but with the storm becoming more dangerous Wagner said, “These numbers are climbing exponentially as the storm goes on.”

Wagner says it's what they do, “We understand the need to support our friends, our neighbors in their time of need and we know that they will return that favor.”

Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards said, “We have about 50 members of the Fire Marshall office that are going over there.” The nationally certified search and rescue team left New Orleans the morning of Wednesday October 10, 2018 including five specially trained medics on the New Orleans Emergency Medical Services staff.

Governor Edwards said, “Everyone can rest assured knowing that we as a state here in Louisiana will be very good neighbors to our states that are going to be impacted.” Governor Edwards says the state is also sending black hawk helicopters with hoist capabilities to the region. He cautions Louisianans to take Michael as a reminder of how quickly a storm can become a catastrophic threat.

Governor Edwards said, “I would just ask everybody to pay attention to how quickly that storm intensified.” Also 170 Entergy Louisiana workers from across the state are getting ready to help restore power as soon as the winds die down.

Entergy Louisiana will send 170 employees and contractors Thursday to help restore power in Florida.

“Sending crews to help is part of long-standing mutual-assistance agreements by which utilities support one another in times of need,” Entergy said in an issued news release. "When requested, Entergy operating companies will send as many workers as they can spare to the affected area while keeping enough at home to meet the needs of local customers.

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