After Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc in St. John the Baptist Parish, the sheriff there says their training facility is flooded with donations for first responders helping toward post-storm recovery.
One of the most recent, coming from the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Blaise Smith says, they’re feeling blessed they stayed out of Hurricane Ida's path. Now that they’re able to, they can help those in need in impacted areas.
More than a dozen pallets filled with essential supplies loaded onto a flatbed, secured, and ready to serve a purpose in St. John the Baptist Parish.
This isn’t the first trip from St. Mary Parish to areas needing a helping hand.
“Grand Isle, twice. This would be our third time coming here,” said Smith. “We went to Terrebonne Parish a couple of times, we made two loads in Terrebonne, plus we went to Terrebonne and cooked.”
He says right now is their time to help. They know what the other parishes are facing.
“With Hurricane Andrew, we knew how it was to sit there a couple of days and not have any type of help,” he said. “And I think that encourages us that when something like this happens, like a natural disaster, we’ll reach out and help our brothers in blue.”
Hundreds of boxes arrived at a training facility in St. John the Baptist Parish – an area needing all the help it can get.
There, Sheriff Michael Tregre is making sure his deputies and other first-line workers helping with recovery efforts can rest and recharge.
They’ve set up a space where first responders and their families can come gather supplies. They’ve received donations from many areas of the country, including fruits and vegetables, water and food, and toilet paper. These are supplies that are now in high demand in these communities.
“All the stuff you see here is just people reaching out to us from sheriffs all over the state of Louisiana to sheriffs in Mississippi, private businesses, people just helping, making sure the deputies are taken care of,” said Tregre. “You gotta have that.”
He recognizes there’s still a long road ahead towards recovery.
“No one should go hungry, no one should go without water,” he said. “Now, housing and other things; those things are going to take time.”
The department is feeling extremely overwhelmed with the donations and grateful for the support.
“If we can ever do anything to repay these people, or if they ever need us, we will be there,” said Lieutenant Christie Chauvin. “We will help them because we appreciate them so much, and from the bottom of our hearts. If I can speak for the department, thank you so much, thank you for the littlest water bottle, to pillows, to these disinfecting wipes. Thank you so much, we appreciate everything they’ve done.”
Aside from feeling thankful for the incoming support, she says they’ve become closer as a department.
“Little things that we have learned to appreciate, and we have learned to appreciate each other. And we all... Have become so close and we really, really are a family now,” she said.
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