ArkLaTexans head to Carolinas to help as Hurricane Florence approaches

ArkLaTex agencies on the road to helping Hurricane Florence victims

(KSLA) - Whatever needs Hurricane Florence may bring, several ArkLaTex agencies will be ready to provide.

(KSLA News 12)

A crew of 13 from the Shreveport Fire Department made final preparations Tuesday before hitting the road to Columbia, S.C.

Members of the swift-water rescue team expect to spend the next eight days performing search-and-rescue missions alongside other firefighters on their task force.

“Shreveport’s swift-water rescue team members will join members of Louisiana Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Task Force for search-and-rescue missions in Columbia, S.C. LA USAR Task Force is made up of teams from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Monroe. This would be a potential deployment of eight days searching for any survivors or flood victims,” Fire Chief Scott Wolverton said.

And they aren't the only agency heading east.

(KSLA News 12)

Bryan Roppolo left Shreveport in his Operation BBQ Relief trailer Tuesday afternoon to pick up supplies in Kansas City before staging in Charlotte, N.C.

"Once we know the needs there, we gotta activate and go take care of those people who can’t care of themselves.”

Roppolo, who was the group’s 2016 volunteer of the year, and other volunteers and professional chefs plan to mass produce thousands of meals over 14 to 18 days.

"When you think about a hot warm meal, and it’s a comfort food, and it’s giving a meal to someone who has lost completely everything they have,” Roppolo said.

(KSLA News 12)

One agency they’ll be partnering with to cook and serve meals is The Salvation Army. Two members of the Northwest Louisiana chapter are headed to Charlotte in a mobile kitchen to meet up with other chapters for a two-week deployment.

“When we were activated, it’s something we are already ready for and just waiting to do. It’s just something we call on as part of our mission is to be ready to meet those needs wherever they are,” said Maj. Ray Morton, of the NWLA Salvation Army.

He also is on standby.

Marc Jorgensen, of the North Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross, will fly out to Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday morning to work as shelter supervisor along with staff members from Alexandria and Madisonville.

"I’ll be helping with the mass care effort and helping in the shelters to give the clients evacuating from the coastline a safe place to stay for the next few days,” he explained.

Shreveport area members of the Louisiana Cajun Navy also will be helping.

They will stage at Brookshire’s on North Market Street at noon Wednesday to go to Florence, S.C. If you want to join their effort, you will need an aluminum boat and any items for search-and-rescue efforts.

Posted by Louisiana Cajun Navy on Tuesday, September 11, 2018

All these agencies hope to make a difference for those impacted by the storm.

If you’d like to help, Operation BBQ Relief, The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross encourage you to make monetary donations.