Ohio Task Force 1 conducting wide area searches in Louisiana


KENNER, La. (WDTN) – Ohio Task Force 1 is on the ground in Louisiana helping with search and recovery efforts after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1: OHTF1 has been reassigned to move into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, including areas of Baton Rouge and up to the Mississippi state border. The day’s assignment is again to perform wide-area searches of this area of Louisiana. 

Task Force Leader Jeff Newman said, “The damage in the wake of these storms is always staggering, it is gratifying to see the team, boots on the ground, fully engaged with the community, assisting them in getting back on their feet.” Newman also said, “It is such a tremendous task, with multiple obstacles, to recover from these storms. I am certain our team’s efforts help them to jump some of these hurdles.”

Sinewe said team members are healthy and in good spirits with a fulfilling day of helping communities recover from Hurricane Ida. Communication with the team is still very limited.

This is a developing story WDTN’s previous story from Tuesday, August 31 is below:

Ohio Task Force 1 will be conducting wide area searches of areas that mainly encompass North Western New Orleans after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

Wide area search activities focus on “Rapid Searches,” according to a release. This include identifying and assisting lost or trapped people and then giving a detailed assessment of the community’s needs back to local and national authorities.

Public Information Officer Phil Sinewe said a primary obstacle community leaders face is establishing the community’s actual needs. The searches play a key role in helping the affected communities get back to normal while also delivering rescue teams to them.

The task force is moving in to establish a forward base in the Kenner, La. area after spending the night back in Lafayette. Sinewe said communication with the team is still very limited because of the lack of essential utilities in the area, but he said they are all safe and in good spirits.

2 NEWS will update this story with more information as Ohio Task Force 1 continues to assist in Louisiana following Hurricane Ida.

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