La. National Guard assists in overnight search and rescue in Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES - Soldiers with the Louisiana National Guard assisted in the rescue of hundreds of citizens in central Lake Charles overnight.
The La. National Guard's 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment and 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team participated in the rescues. The Guard assisted the Lake Charles Fire Department, Calcasieu Parish Sherriff's Office and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the rescue of 450 citizens and 12 pets throughout Monday night and Tuesday morning in response to Tropical Storm Harvey.
"People were calling 911; calls go into the emergency operations center, and then they dispatch them through the fire department. And then the guys with the fire department and wildlife and fisheries would help them direct teams," Maj. Aaron Duplechin said in a news release.
Two La. National Guard boat teams and high-water vehicles were used to assist in evacuations from a neighborhood that flooded, along with other calls for assistance, according to the La. National Guard.
Duplechin, who is a Lake Charles native, said he has several high-water vehicles and multiple boats ready to respond to calls for assistance. He said the area is expecting more rain in the area very soon.
"In the next 24 hours, I think they predicted anywhere from 5-10 inches of rain," said Duplechin. "So it just kind of depends on when those bands hit and where."
The La. National Guard has approximately 375 Guardsmen activated in parishes around the state, including Guardsmen with high water vehicles and boats prepositioned in Calcasieu, Vermillion, Orleans, Lafayette, Red River, Natchitoches, Caddo and Rapides parishes.
Eight helicopters are also ready to support search and rescue missions as necessary.
According to the La. National Gaurd, they have issued more than 1,152 MREs, 750 bottles of water and 247,000 sandbags to date.