SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) —After Hurricane Ian caused mass destruction throughout Florida, the Louisiana National Guard is now heading east to help with recovery efforts.
“I’ve been seeing the pictures and videos on social media, and I can tell it’s devastating,” said Capt. Lakin Douglas with the Louisiana National Guard.
About 80 personnel, 30 tactical vehicles and a black hawk helicopter left Camp Villere in Slidell on Thursday morning. They are heading just south of Gainesville where they will then determine where troops will head.
“We are taking our high water rescue vehicles so we will be doing some high water rescue missions where, with our vehicles, are capable of transporting residents as well as troops,” said Capt. Douglas.
Troops will remain in Florida for at least two weeks.
Gary Walker is a resident of Alva, Florida which is less than 20 miles away from Fort Myers.
He says the destruction is unimaginable.
“Some friends of mine that live probably half a mile on the other side of the river their houses are completely underwater,” said Walker.
Walker claims in his area not much is left – buildings are demolished, trees are uprooted and some homes don’t even have roofs.
“Just to see the way that Gulf rose and came in there was just cars floating out of the Gulf,” said Walker. “Never seen anything like that in my life.”