L.D.W.F. Agents Rescue 32 People in Tangipahoa Parish

Release Date: 03/09/2011

March 9, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents rescued 32 people on March 8 in Tangipahoa Parish from flooding conditions due to severe rainfall.

LDWF agents responded to a call around 7 p.m. of a vehicle that got swept off of Lewiston Road east of Kentwood into Big Creek. Sgt. Toby Miller and Senior Agent Brody Roberts launched a shallow drive vessel into the creek and were able to pull a female and her young daughter from the rooftop of the vehicle. Agents reported there was only about 6 inches of the vehicle above the water when the rescue was made.

LDWF agents then received a call around 8 p.m. from the Kentwood Fire Department of two trailer parks that flooded in Tangipahoa. By 12:30 a.m. on March 9, Sgt. Miller, Senior Agent Roberts and Sgt. Darryl Galloway were able to rescue 30 people from the two trailer parks again using a shallow draft vessel. Agents reported the water was above the skirting of the trailers. Agents also rescued two dogs and two horses.

Agents brought the rescued people to Hwy. 51 where emergency personnel from Acadian Ambulance, Tangipahoa Sheriff's Office, Tangipahoa Police Department and the Kentwood Fire Department were on standby. Emergency personnel then transported the rescued people to a shelter in Kentwood. Between all of the emergency personnel that responded, over 100 people were rescued from trailer parks and roadways on the night of March 8.

"These three agents responded in a very quick and efficient manner, which is required for any search and rescue mission," said Col. Winton Vidrine, head of the LDWF Enforcement Division. "Enforcement agents are well equipped and trained for search and rescue missions as they have the trucks and vessels to get to remote areas that flood and have numerous hours of swift water and first aid training."

LDWF agents will remain on standby statewide and also assist with local emergency responders as severe weather is expected to continue throughout the day.

The LDWF Enforcement Division is the primary agency for search and rescue in the state and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) designated lead for search and rescue operations. LDWF agents have several decades of experience in boating safety enforcement, maritime patrol enforcement and maritime search and rescue.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.