Puerto Rico Guard helps Louisiana with Hurricane Ida relief
FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico – Bridge engineers with the 190th Engineering Battalion of the Puerto Rico National Guard mobilized to Louisiana Sept. 16 to support Hurricane Ida recovery efforts.
Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi signed an executive order to activate and use the PRNG personnel and equipment to address the emergency in Louisiana. He also delegated to Maj. Gen. Jose J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the PRNG, the power to determine the units and equipment necessary for this State Military Service activation.
"The Puerto Rico National Guard is responding to the request for support from the state of Louisiana, just as we did 16 years ago after Hurricane Katrina," Reyes said. "On this occasion, 43 engineers will be collaborating in the damage assessment to the state's bridges and other impacted roads."
A Category 4 phenomenon, Hurricane Ida made landfall Aug. 29, damaging infrastructure and leaving more than 1 million residents without power.
"Hurricane Ida has been considered the second most devastating in the region after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Therefore, the GNPR is responding in solidarity to the call for support in this situation," said Col. Carlos G. Torres Febus, PRNG chief of staff. "After Katrina, about 1,200 Puerto Rican Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen participated in security, search and rescue, and normalization operations in that state. It is proper to provide our support since we also received the support of 33 other National Guards after Hurricane Maria in 2017."
Reyes stressed that Puerto Rico is at the peak of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, so Puerto Rico cannot let its guard down.
"We should not wait until the last minute to make the appropriate preparations," he said. "Citizens must be responsible and take due precautions and preparations to protect their homes and families."