Hurricane Ida Coast Guard Disaster Response Update
Coast Guard members in Louisiana are rebuilding their lives as they continue to serve citizens devastated by the landfall of Hurricane Ida. Communities outside the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge are expected to remain without power through the end of September; some Coast Guard spouses and children remain evacuated in hotels or with family while others have returned to assess and repair damage.
The Coast Guard Foundation has received more than 137 requests for emergency assistance from Coast Guard members covering everything from food and basic necessities, to emergency housing, to home repairs.
- 37% are food, clothing, and living supplies that were destroyed in their homes.
- 23% are for help with high insurance deductibles
- 22% are for emergency travel and temporary housing
- 18% are for home repairs: roofs, trees, water in home. Often repairs cost less than high insurance deductibles or there aren’t builders available so CG members take on repairs themselves to secure their properties.
One Coast Guard member had this firsthand report of damage:
“I’m stationed at (Marine Safety Unit) Houma where the eye of hurricane IDA went through. The parish was devastated. Food and fuel is very hard to find here. The prices of everything is spiking up because of the low supply. They are not expecting to have power in the parish for another 5 weeks. I will use this grant for food and any basic necessities, so that I’m ultimately able to help with the mission and rebuild our community.
“I have a wife, a five-year-old daughter, a three-year-old son, and a dog and cat. I need to ensure that they are adequately taken care of in a displace location for an undetermined amount of time. Oh, our home is totaled and unrecoverable. Insurance will only cover damage to property but additional expenses and unrecovered losses will be out of pocket. Forgive any typos I’m doing this from my cell phone on the road.”
Meanwhile with no additional large scale rescue operations, the Coast Guard response is now focused on mitigating the environmental damage from the storm. The Coast Guard is conducting fly overs of the Gulf of Mexico and coastal facilities looking for oil spills. They are also investigating 350 reported spills in the impacted area and coordinating cleanup with facility owners and other federal and state officials.
Title Image: A Coast Guard marine science technician searches for potential pollution and environmental threats from Hurricane Ida during an overflight in Luling, Louisiana, on a Sept. 3, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Dickinson)