NEW ORLEANS — Since operations began Aug. 12, the Louisiana National Guard has rescued nearly 3,400 people and 400 pets in 12 parishes from heavy flash flooding.
Nearly 2,500 personnel are mobilized and nearly 195 high-water vehicles tasked or staged to assist local, parish and state emergency officials with heavy flash flooding in Ascension, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Lafayette, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Helena, Tangipahoa, Vermillion and West Feliciana parishes, officials said. Focus on Saving Lives "That's what we are focused on: saving lives. We currently have 1,700 people mobilized. Those numbers will build up towards 2,000 and possibly as high as 2,500 as requests come in,” said Army Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, Louisiana’s adjutant general. “We can also bring on military police and give police officers a chance to rest and check on their homes." Helicopter crews began airdrops of water and food on Interstate 12 to stranded motorists. About 100 bus drivers reported to Memorial Stadium over the weekend to aid in assistance. The Louisiana Army National Guard has 131 high-water vehicles deployed for search and rescue, 30 boats, eight bridge-erection boats and five helicopters to combat the flood waters and protect communities in support of local officials. Liaison officers are working in 10 parishes. More than 600,000 sandbags have been distributed, as well as about 96,000 bottles of water and 2,300 packaged meals. Additional resources are available if needed, officials said.