By National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. – Thousands of members of the Louisiana and Texas National Guard prepared Wednesday to assist first responders as Hurricane Laura approached landfall.
More than 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard and more than 1,000 Texas Guard troops were ready to provide support by land, water and air. The LANG strategically positioned 222 high water vehicles and 65 boats from southeastern Louisiana to southwestern Louisiana to provide search and rescue support. It also had 19 Army aircraft prepared to assist.
In addition, 10 Guard engineer assessment teams and seven engineer work teams were staged and ready to respond. Guard members of the 843rd Engineer Company worked around the clock to assist local and state agencies to reinforce the exposed burrito levee in Grand Isle.
And the LANG had 921,000 liters of water and 528,000 military rations, or meals ready to eat, strategically placed to support Louisianans.
The Texas National Guard has over 1,000 members activated for hurricane response, with over 20 aviation assets to include UH-60 Black Hawk, CH-47 Chinook, C-130 airframes standing by. Over 15 shelter teams with emergency tracking capabilities are moving to receive those in need and the Texas Guard has mobilized 117 high profile vehicles to support rescue efforts in high-risk areas. C-130 crews have been busy moving supplies to areas of Southeast Texas in anticipation of the hurricane and the recovery efforts to follow.
Texas is prepared to operate in a COVID-19 environment by using 160 Guard members assigned to mobile testing teams to support interagency hurricane response.
Hurricane Laura was expected to hit the Texas-Louisiana coast as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday night or early Thursday, with the potential for catastrophic damage.
The Louisiana and Texas National Guard contributed to this story.