DALLAS - Help from North Texas is on its way to Louisiana to assist the people affected by Hurricane Ida.
A team of about 40 volunteers with a dozen emergency vehicles left from the Texas Baptist Men headquarters in East Dallas Monday morning.
They hit the road not knowing exactly where in south Louisiana they’ll end up. That decision will be made by emergency planners while the volunteers are making their 7 to 9-hour trip.
The group is taking a mass feeding kitchen capable of serving up to 30,000 meals per day.
The American Red Cross already has 500 people on the ground in Louisiana helping Ida’s victims. Another crew left from the DFW area Monday morning, taking the kinds of supplies that are most essential in the storm’s immediate aftermath.
"Vehicles like this will be canvassing the area affected once it is safe to get out, providing food and supplies to people. That may include hygiene things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo," said Krystal Smith with the American Red Cross. "It could include our clean-up kits. That would have mops and brooms, bleach, everything people would need in order to begin the clean-up effort once we reach that stage."
Another nonprofit sending volunteers, along with rescue boats, drones and other emergency equipment is the McKinney-based Minuteman Disaster Response. They left Sunday.
Donations are already piling up.
Buckner International, a Dallas-based non-profit, donated 28,000 pounds of relief supplies, including bottled water and hand sanitizer.
Texas Baptist Men will deliver it to Louisiana later this week.
Countless homes and businesses were either damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Ida's relentless wind and rain. The clean-up process will soon get underway.
AdvantaClean, a disaster recovery company based in North Texas, has already received approximately 300 calls from Louisiana residents in need of help. A 53-foot truck filled with portable power, air movers and dehumidifiers rolled out Monday afternoon.
The Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System has been activated. Nearly 150 firefighters from across the state will head to Louisiana.
Wylie has a crew on the way.
"Some of them are dive. Most of them are swift water. All of them are all-hazards certified," explained Wylie Fire Chief Brandon Blythe. "And of course, they're all firefighter-paramedics."
The Wylie fire chief says the first group of firefighters will be deployed for 16 days.
As part of the Texas mutual aid agreement, the state will also be providing 132 fire trucks and a helicopter with 14 crew members.
Meanwhile, the Texas Baptist Men said the group it is sending Monday will be on the ground for about a week. Then, they’ll be relieved by other volunteers from the organization.
The group anticipates being in the hurricane zone for several weeks, possibly a few months helping with cleanup.
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