BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana National Guard (LANG) will station troops and high-water vehicles in vulnerable areas around south Louisiana in anticipation of storms this weekend.
As ordered by Governor John Bel Edwards, the Louisiana National Guard has been authorized to activate 3,000 soldiers and airmen.
“The Louisiana National Guard is taking a proactive and aggressive approach in dealing with the preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Barry,” said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, adjutant general of the LANG. “This will allow our Guardsmen to be more successful in their priority missions immediately following the storm – search and rescue operations and commodities distribution.”
Soldiers spent Wednesday, July 10 testing and preparing their equipment. Each battalion will send boats and trucks specially-equipped to plow through water and debris to problem areas.
“We’re a support agency, here to support the other civil agencies within the State of Louisiana," Lt. Col. William Saint said. “Our job is to fulfill whatever needs that they have and can’t fulfill themselves.”
The guard will also deploy new boats that are wheelchair accessible this year.
Saint says he wants citizens to be vigilant and follow local officials’ advice so they don’t get trapped or stranded. In a best-case scenario, he says the National Guard would not be necessary.
“We want to go in and help everybody that we can, but we don’t want to have to help everybody,” Saint said.
LANG is also deploying assets to New Orleans, including large amounts of water, blankets, and sandbags.