Oklahoma Task Force One, Red Cross Help With Hurricane Laura Relief

Thursday, August 27th 2020, 9:42 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

Oklahomans are in Louisiana to help with recovery efforts after Hurricane Laura. 

Firefighters from the Tulsa area and Red Cross volunteers are there to help the victims. 

Wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour, rain and now flooding and storm damage have wrecked lives across the coast after Hurricane Laura made landfall.

"It's one of a lot of concern and sadness because of the size and scope of this particular storm," said Mary Jane Coffman.

Mary Jane Coffman with the Oklahoma and Kansas Red Cross, who is deployed in Baton Rouge, said as of Thursday, 34 people from the two states are near the coast to help with the damage.

"In Oklahoma we get quite a bit of experience with disasters," she said.

This is Coffman's fifth out-of-state deployment, and she said they're mainly focused on getting people a place to stay and helping them get back on their feet.

Over in Alexandria, 37 members of Oklahoma's Task Force One are stationed at a church waiting to be deployed to help with search and rescue.

It's something Task Force leader R.B. Ellis said the crews will be doing as soon as tomorrow.

Oklahoma's Task Force One is made up of firefighters from across Green Country.

The crews have K9's, boats, a helicopter and extensive training to search for missing people from every angle.

"We come down here and do the best job we can," said Ellis.

On Friday, PSO will send 263 crew members to Shreveport to help the more than 100,000 people without power there.

Back in Baton Rouge, Coffman said the Red Cross will be on the ground for as long as they're needed.

News on 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer said there is not much rain expected through the weekend in Louisiana which should make it easier for crews to start cleaning up.