Florida is deploying aid to Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Ida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced the assistance Monday. Ida made landfall as a Category 4 storm over Louisiana Sunday, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina struck the state.
Ida has since been downgraded to a tropical storm and now a tropical depression as it has tracked inland. Still, the National Weather Service warns of flash floods and heavy rainfall in Louisiana and Mississippi that could continue as the storm carries over to the Mid-Atlantic.
“The state of Florida stands with both our Gulf Coast neighbors as they face the devastation left by Hurricane Ida,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I am proud that we are able to deploy aid to both Mississippi and Louisiana during their time of need, just as others help Florida when disaster strikes here. We will continue to coordinate with both states to identify needed resources.”
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an interstate mutual aid agreement for states to share resources with each other during an emergency or disaster.
DeSantis on Monday announced the state would deploy search and resccue teams to Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as 50 Florida National Guard members to Louisiana.
“Florida is deploying its best and brightest to support our neighbors to the west,” CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said. “These Urban Search & Rescue Teams are the same ones that worked Surfside and they’re going to do a lot of good in getting impacted communities back on their feet.”
“The truth is everybody along the Gulf Coast looks out for each other,” he continued. “It’s no different than when Louisiana sent services following Hurricane Michael.”
DEM and Florida are coordinating with food banks in Louisiana to serve displaced residents. DEM also has two incident management teams on standby to deploy to the two states.
“In Florida, we know how disastrous a Category 4 hurricane can be,” DEM Director Kevin Guthrie said. “As our partners in Louisiana and Mississippi continue to respond to Ida and begin their initial recovery process, the Division stands ready to deploy requested resources to assist. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gulf Coast residents impacted by Ida during this time, and we will continue to support their storm response.”
Florida electric companies — including Florida Power and Light, the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tampa Electric Company and Duke Energy — have deployed utility restoration crews to the Bayou State.