Flood relief made part of 2017 drill

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
gfischer@weeklycitizen.com
Hoist training.

It may be said that flooding comes hand-in-hand with any hurricane disaster, but after the Great Floods of 2016 flood rescue and prevention are a primary focus of the disaster response exercise (DRX).

The eight-day disaster training seminar was focused on all types of rescue: people and animal; air, sea and land. Lane 5 at the Bonnet Carre Spillway training site was in fact dedicated to Flood Control Systems.

At least 21 state agencies took part in the DRX. Ascension Parish was part of the local participation effort, along with St. Tammany and East Baton Rouge Parishes. One thing seems certain, the State of Louisiana understands that emergency response is a "group effort."

"We had what we call a unified command group meeting Thursday," Governor Edwards Chief of Staff Mark Cooper said. "The governor brought in all the state agencies that have a major role in disaster preparedness, as well as national representatives from the national weather service . . . We've got the best National Guard and other state agencies probably in the country as it relates to disaster response, but it's good to come together once a year to remind ourselves . . . because it's never an 'if,' but 'when' it's going to happen."