Hurricane Ida recovery: More local emergency responders head to Louisiana

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SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — More northwest Arkansas first responders are headed to Louisiana to help with Hurricane Ida disaster relief.

“The reason why we’re here is to help cover other fire departments because those guys having been working since the day the hurricane hit,” said Siloam Springs Fire Captain Jeff Grass.

In Siloam Springs, more firefighters have made their way to Louisiana. The department-and others in our region-already sent several with the NWA Task Force immediately after the storm hit.

“We had a big group of firemen from Arkansas specifically doing search and rescue efforts on boats, going to door to door checking on houses trying to help people who needed evacuation or do water rescue,” Grass said. “That resource got utilized pretty quickly.”

Grass said new concerns required three additional firemen from Siloam Springs who have joined the Arkansas Firefighting Strike Team to relieve the initial first responders.

“We’ve still got a lot of people without power, so with that comes a lot of people who are running their generator,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of housefires from those generators overheating, then we’re getting a lot of carbon monoxide alarms as well.”

These are not the only Arkansans helping with the disaster relief, though.

“Over 500 national guard men and women are headed toward Louisiana,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said in last weeks press conference. “In addition to the 40 civilians that are responding to the needs in Louisiana, as well as the line workers for the electric cooperative.”

Those men and women are also joined by 33 Arkansas State Troopers.

“It’s easy to sort of forget about it,” Grass said. “We came down here and we’re still seeing thousands of people without power. People’s homes are devastated.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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