Sgt. Joemicheal Cristobal, Spc. Osias Passi, and Spc. Brennon Westfall, members of the Alaska Army National Guard and Task Force-Alaska, log trailer and driver information on a yard dog sheet, at a transportation yard in Roseland, Louisiana, Sept. 7, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard / Staff Sgt. Jacob Tyrrell)

Sgt. Joemicheal Cristobal, Spc. Osias Passi, and Spc. Brennon Westfall, members of the Alaska Army National Guard and Task Force-Alaska, log trailer and driver information on a yard dog sheet, at a transportation yard in Roseland, Louisiana, Sept. 7, 2021. (U.S. Army National Guard / Staff Sgt. Jacob Tyrrell)

Alaska National Guard lends a hand in Louisiana

A small detachment deployed down south to assist recovery from Hurricane Ida.

A detachment of Alaska National Guardsmen traveled to Louisiana to assist in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Seventeen guardsmen departed on Sept. 3 to join National Guard elements from four other states in Roseland, Louisiana, according to an Army news release.

“Civilian and military truck drivers are bringing in full truckloads of water, food and tarps,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Tyrrell, Task Force-Alaska platoon leader. “We are conducting an inventory of each truck, logging and marking contents, tracking it and staging it for delivery.”

Guardsmen are filling such roles as forklift operator, fueler, medic and security detail in the staging yard, Tyrrell said in the news release.

Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, speaks to soldiers in the armory at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, as they prepare to depart for Louisiana, Sept. 3, 2021. (Air National Guard / Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead)

Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard, speaks to soldiers in the armory at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, as they prepare to depart for Louisiana, Sept. 3, 2021. (Air National Guard / Lt. Col. Candis Olmstead)

“This is a good location to work from and be able to help people throughout the state,” Tyrrell said. “Everyone here is extremely thankful and hospitable, and I’m very proud of my team for their hard work and excellent attitudes.”

The guardsmen are operating in the north-central part of the state, Tyrrell said, where damage is primarily in downed trees and damaged buildings. Other areas of the state were hit harder, Tyrrell said.

“Yesterday, we moved 100 trucks out of here, headed to southeast Louisiana where there is a lot of need for the supplies we’re pushing out,” Tyrrell said.

Alaska Air and Army National Guard assets have been to deployed to assist response and recovery operations in Florida, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, and the Virgin Islands in the past four years according to the Army.

The Associated Press reported Friday that power had been restored to nearly all of New Orleans, but that thousands are still struggling without electricity or water in the metro area. Additionally, more than 220,000 homes and businesses remained without power in southeast Louisiana, with the four hardest-hit parishes with 80% or more of their utility customers without power, according to the AP.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

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