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Ohio Task Force 1 In Louisiana Helping Residents Recover From Hurricane Ida

Members of Ohio Task Force 1 search and rescue team stagged in Layette, La on Sunday prior to the landfall of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans.
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Members of Ohio Task Force 1 search and rescue team stagged in Layette, La on Sunday prior to the landfall of Hurricane Ida in New Orleans.

Columbus Fire Lt Craig Mignogno, a member of Ohio Task Force 1, based in Dayton, is helping Louisiana residents recover from Hurricane Ida that struck yesterday. It’s one of many storms in his 22 years on the task force.

Mignogno said his team has worked west and south of New Orleans.

“There’s a major power outage here which is causing a lot of issues down here for folks, obviously, but as far as structural damage goes, as far as the number of large trees that came down on structures, it’s not bad,” Mignogno said.

Mignogno's team is made up of more than three dozen Ohio firefighters and others will collect data on where the damaged structures and blocked roads are located and send it to the command post.

“We’re working for FEMA and on behalf of FEMA, but ultimately we work for the state of Louisiana and once we get here it’s up to them how much and how long they want our services,” he said.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans after the levees broke. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita struck the area. Mignogno responded to that destruction.

“That was far worse,” Mignogo said. “No two storms have ever been the same as long as I’ve been doing this. We try to have a game plan for all possibilities, by water, by vehicle and by foot.”

One of the battles for his team is to stay hydrated since the Louisiana heat can take a toll, he said.

“This is a team with a great amount of experience both in doing this kind of work and in their fire department jobs,” Mignogno said. “Everybody knows how to take care of one another if we get to that point and we know how to work through it.”