Louisiana groups head to Florida, Carolinas to assist in Ian recovery

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Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hurricane Ian’s remarkable path of destruction has posed challenges for response agencies from the New Orleans area. Both civilian and government resources have had to shift gears as they send dozens of people to help out.

Hurricane Ian’s wreckless path across Florida, with a second landfall in South Carolina, is a major disaster, and the Coast Guard resources based in New Orleans are there.

“We have sent six shallow water rescue search and rescue teams as well as urban search and rescue teams,” said Lt. Phillip Vanderweit, with the US Coast Guard’s 8th District.

The scope of the damage covers hundreds of miles and the United Cajun Navy has boots on the ground and props in the water as well in Fort Myers, Florida.

“Unfortunately the storm surge that hit Fort Myers barrier islands was really devastating and a lot of people stayed behind because they didn’t expect that last-minute jog to the east,” said Brian Trascher, with the United Cajun Navy.

More: Fallout from Hurricane Ian is expected to worsen Louisiana’s insurance crisis

The United Cajun Navy now has branches in eight states including Florida and in the Carolinas and their boats have been in the water for two days.

“We have folks from Louisiana there as well and we deployed more people today and a truck from our Baton Rouge warehouse is going down there,” said Trascher.

The US Coast Guard based in New Orleans has also sent in 10 vessels and seven helicopters, first to Florida, and now to the mid-Atlantic.

“We have multiple shallow water rescue teams heading to the South Carolina region and are standing by to support local and state authorities if needed,” said Vanderweit.

It is a challenge that New Orleans-based first responders know all too well. But these rescuers say they’re committed to doing whatever they can to help dig out from Ian.

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