Louisiana groups helping pick up the pieces Hurricane Michael left behind

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LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Hurricane Michael ripped through the Florida panhandle Wednesday morning, and is now making it’s way throughout parts of the Southeast, local agencies are sending crews to assist with the recovery efforts.
 
SLEMCO is one of the many electric co-ops from Acadiana and across the state who are sending crews to restore power in areas hit by Michael, along other local organizations that are stepping up
to help that part of our nation in need.
 
It’s one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States.
 
The scary Catergory 4 hurricane was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, when it crashed ashore near Mexico Beach in Florida.
 
“We had all of these emergencies here, we had the walls flying out, we had people trapped inside the bathrooms,” said John Billiot with America’s Cajun Navy.
 
But when disaster strikes, Louisianans answer the call to assist with rescue missions.
“Now as soon as I hang up with you (News10), we’re going to go out there and start getting some stuff done,” said Billiot.
 
And if local crews aren’t already there, they’ll soon be en route.
Like SLEMCO, they’re sending 22 employees and some line trucks to assist in restoring power to areas ravaged by Hurricane Michael.
 
“And it’s just a turn about, a turn about’s fair play, you know we help them they help us, and it just makes everybody work well together, and feel grateful for the co-op system throughout the nation,” said Mary Laurent, with SLEMCO.
 
As well as the local Red Cross organizations.
 
“We are sending volunteers there as we speak to deploy to Florida, we also have deployed one of our emergency response vehicles,” said Charles Banks, a Disaster Recovery Specialist with the Red Cross.
Because when a hurricane hits, Louisiana residents step up to the plate, to help others who may be in need.
 
“After a big storm and we go days and days without power, we know what that’s like, and the guys have a big comradery among the whole nation,” said Laurent.
 
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is also sending out a number of emergency personnel to deploy for rescue missions.
 
The SLEMCO crews will be heading to Tri-County Electric Cooperative in Madison, Florida on Thursday at 6 a.m.

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