Suwannee Valley Times is distributed into the following cities and towns: Lake City, Live Oak, Madison, Branford, Dowling Park, Falmouth, Lee, Wellborn, Jasper, White Springs, Fort White, High Springs and Alachua

Florida Deploys Resources to Assist Louisiana and Mississippi with Hurricane Ida Recovery

Staff Reports

Monday, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced that the State of Florida is deploying resources to assist Louisiana and Mississippi with recovery from Hurricane Ida. 

     “The state of Florida stands with both our Gulf Coast neighbors as they face the devastation left by Hurricane Ida,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud that we are able to deploy aid to both Mississippi and Louisiana during their time of need, just as others help Florida when disaster strikes here. We will continue to coordinate with both states to identify needed resources.”

     Earlier, the Governor announced the deployment and staging of Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Forces 1 and 2 in Mississippi and the mobilization of both USAR Task Force 4 and 50 Florida National Guardsmen to Louisiana.

     “In Florida, we know how disastrous a Category 4 hurricane can be,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie. “As our partners in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to respond to Ida and begin their initial recovery process, the Division stands ready to deploy requested resources to assist. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gulf Coast residents impacted by Ida during this time, and we will continue to support their storm response.”

    FDEM continues to work closely with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi to identify remaining needs. This includes coordinating with food banks in Louisiana that are serving residents displaced by the storm. Partners are on standby to assist Mississippi food banks as necessary. 

     State of Florida industry partners, including Florida Power, Light and the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tampa Electric Company and Duke Energy immediately deployed utility restoration personnel and equipment to support Louisiana’s crews. More than 1,100 Florida utility restoration personnel are support these efforts.

     Since Ida made landfall, Florida deployed Urban Search and Rescue Task Force 4 (FL-4) and the Florida State University Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) team. FL-4 is a 40-person team that specializes in swift water rescues and is supporting search and rescue efforts. The Florida State University drones team is supporting damage assessments. Florida’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces 1 and 2 are also deployed under the federal response to Hurricane Ida to assist with search and rescue efforts. 

     FDEM has two Incident Management Teams on standby that are ready to deploy as requested. Incident Management Teams are comprised of state and local experienced emergency management professionals who are prepared to support the responses in Louisiana and Mississippi as necessary.