ArkLaTexans leave to help with Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts

ArkLaTex first responders head to East Coast ahead of Hurricane Dorian

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — An army of emergency responders, disaster relief agencies and utility crews have positioned themselves on the East Coast to help with Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts.

And many of them have come from the ArkLaTex.

They include two K-9 teams — a live search dog and a cadaver dog — from the Shreveport Fire Department that now are in Florida.

“They cover ground faster than us. They have a better sense with their nose," explained Skip Pinkston, the Fire Department’s chief of special operations. "So if we’re trying to find something in a building, they can go into that structure without us sending an actual person in.”

SWEPCO also has sent a small army of work crews — 22 trucks and more than 100 employees.

That contingent left the utility’s Shreveport service center Friday, spokeswoman Michelle Marcotte said.

“We heard from one of our supervisors this morning. And he said, you know, the guys are in really good spirits and that, you know, they’re just ready to help out however they can.”

The Red Cross has sent 100 people from throughout Louisiana to staging areas along the East Coast, according to Karen McCoy, executive director of the American Red Cross of North Louisiana.

And they’re always looking for more help, she said.

“We need volunteers. So they can go to Red Cross-dot- org and volunteer. And we can get you the training and get you out there pretty immediate.”

As for donations, cash is king.

McCoy said they’re better able to buy items at or near disaster areas instead of having to haul everything there.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.