MONROE, La. (KNOE) - National Guard teams from Monroe and Ruston are in South Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. Major Joshua Culp with the 528th Engineer Battalion in Monroe says they're sending three Engineer Work Teams, and the 527th Engineer Battalion in Ruston is sending two teams. The teams left Friday morning for Gonzales, La.
National Guard units from Monroe and Ruston are heading to Gonzales, La Friday morning ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. (KNOE)
"They're always about a one to two-day notice like this, so we started moving some equipment yesterday (Wednesday, July 10)," says Major Culp. "We moved some boats, we moved some super sack sandbags, some high water vehicles to get them down there. And as the storm changes and escalates, that escalates our reaction time."
He says each team is made up of about 25 people, and they're bringing equipment like high-water vehicles and flat bottom boats. As of Friday morning, Major Culp says their missions have grown and they're bringing 70 bus drivers as well from northern Louisiana to help get people to shelters.
Major Culp says their Engineer Work Teams are designed to help clear roads of debris and aid in rescue missions.
Culp says their teams are always ready, especially during hurricane season.
"Well this is the first time I've seen a storm come out of the states and back into the gulf and back up, so, you know, what you expect doesn't really matter. You just have to be prepared to execute all your tasks."
He says recently they responded to the deadly tornado that went through Ruston in April and then responded to tornados in Jackson Parish.
We'll continue to keep you updated about our local teams as they help out in south Louisiana.