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Louisiana Guard prepares for rising flood waters

By Spc. Joshua Barnett | Louisiana National Guard | January 11, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. – More than 270 Louisiana National Guard members are working across the state to build protective barriers against the approaching flood waters and to patrol levees in support of local, parish and state officials at the request of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on Jan. 9.

The 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is constructing more than 2 miles of levees with HESCO barriers on Avoca Island to prevent backwater flooding from reaching Morgan City and other towns in South Louisiana. To transport personnel, equipment and materials to the island, the 2225th Multi-Role Bridge Company has created a ferry using the Improved Ribbon Bridge system.

The Louisiana Army National Guard conducted a similar mission in 2011.

"Our levees worked in 2011, and we're back on the same ground we were then," said Maj. Gen. Glenn H. Curtis, LANG adjutant general. "I fully expect they will work again."

The LANG Mobile Operations Command Center is operating in Morgan City to support the Avoca Island mission. More than 100 Soldiers are conducting 24-hour operations to build the barrier in time.

More than 60 engineers are also constructing 2,600 linear feet of protective levees in Krotz Springs in St. Landry Parish.

LANG aviators conducted an aerial survey of the Morganza Spillway Dam and surrounding affected area in support of the Corps of Engineers, Jan. 7. Another reconnaissance flight is scheduled for Tuesday.

Guard members are also conducting 24-hour levee patrols in the parishes of Concordia, East Carroll, Madison and Tensas in the 5th Levee District to inspect for leaks or seepage.

Two sand-bagging chutes have been provided to state officials in Tensas Parish. The LANG has also issued 13,000 sandbags each to Angola, Avoyelles Parish and West Feliciana Parish.

Louisiana's Guardsmen are trained, ready and equipped to stand up at any moment to protect lives and property, maintain communications and ensure the continuity of operations and government.