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BR first responders deployed to Florida to assist in Hurricane Ian recovery efforts

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago Sunday, October 02 2022 Oct 2, 2022 October 02, 2022 6:27 PM October 02, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

Up and down Florida's west coast, streets are littered and filled with abandoned cars, roofs are torn off and roads are blocked by flooding and debris.

"This is still a very fluid environment, make no mistake, we're nowhere near the recovery efforts we need to be at. This is a very fluid, dangerous environment — structural integrity, electrical issues, downed infrastructure and still standing water," Ragan Underwood with the St. George Fire Department said.

Louisiana is no stranger to devastation.

A special group called the Incident Management Team was created by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office to assist first responders in Fort Myers, Fla. They arrived Friday afternoon.

"There's still a tremendous amount of assets that are inbound from around the country. Our main mission is to get out and do recognizance and prepare these locations," Underwood said.

And provide some Louisiana hospitality.

"A lot of these guys have been on the forefront for four days now. They haven't had anywhere to sleep besides their vehicles, haven't had a good meal, whatever they can get their hands on. So, this is going to be a place to get some rest and get something to eat," Henry Threeton with the Baton Rouge Fire Department said.

And the hard work done by members of St. George and Baton Rouge fire departments isn't going unnoticed. Victims of Hurricane Ian are showing appreciation for their efforts.

"A senior citizen, he got out of his car, came over and was in tears. Emotionally, he was distraught and at a breaking point and just could not thank us enough," Underwood said.

Though it's a long road to recovery, it's the resilience of people coming together in hard times that keeps the momentum going.

"Everyone comes together in any time of need in America, and they get the job done. And so you see that day in and day out, yeah, you run into issues, but at no point have I seen anybody not getting the job done, regardless of any place. Everyone's coming together, and it's one team getting the job done," Rusty Shoultz with the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office said.

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