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Missouri, Illinois units will assist in hurricane recovery

Missouri, Illinois units will assist in hurricane recovery

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JEFFERSON CITY — An estimated 300 soldiers from the Missouri National Guard are set to assist in the post-Hurricane Ida recovery efforts in Louisiana.

Gov. Mike Parson announced the mobilization Tuesday, two days after the Category 4 hurricane swept through Louisiana, knocking out power and leaving a trail of at least five deaths.

“As our fellow states never fail to come to our aid in times of need, we are proud to answer this call to provide relief to our friends in Louisiana,” Parson said. “Americans helping Americans and neighbor helping neighbor is what keeps our nation strong.”

Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency received a request for assistance from the state of Louisiana through a mutual aid agreement among states that allows for the sharing of critical resources when needed.

Similarly, Illinois has sent a 46-member Urban Search and Rescue Team to Louisiana to aid with water rescues caused by life-threatening flash flooding and dangerous storm surges caused by Ida.

The team, made up of members of fire departments from across Illinois, will be deployed to the affected area for 16 days.

“Illinois’ brave first responders are well-trained and will work alongside local rescue teams in the coming days to provide essential support for affected residents,” Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

The Missouri National Guard, which is set to stay for at least two weeks, is prepared to provide humanitarian support, equipment, debris removal and general support assistance. Soldiers from the 110th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade headquartered in Kansas City and the 35th Engineer Brigade headquartered in Fort Leonard Wood are mobilized to assist in the relief efforts.

The teams will enter a state where electricity in hard-hit parts may not be restored for a month. At the same time, the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

“The Missouri National Guard is well-trained and equipped to assist in recovery operations and has done similar missions in the past with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita,” said Maj. Gen. Levon Cumpton, Missouri National Guard Adjutant General. “We are proud to assist our teammates in Louisiana in their time of need.”

The National Guard previously has been deployed in other post-hurricane events.

In 2017, then-Gov. Eric Greitens activated soldiers to the Virgin Islands to assist the region in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The state also is sent two Blackhawk helicopter crews to the region.

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