NEWS RELEASE #05-194
September 12, 2005
DNR News (803) 734-3950
SCDNR Saves Lives in Louisiana, Officers Return To Columbia
Natural Resources Enforcement Officers with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources have returned from a six-day deployment to the hurricane battered Gulf Coast.
"Thirty-eight DNR law enforcement officers with 19 boats were deployed to Louisiana on Friday, September 2, 2005," according to Col. Alvin Taylor, deputy director for the Law Enforcement Division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "Their mission was to assist with evacuations, provide security for utility companies working to provide essential services and to respond to 911 telephone calls."
Sunday at 6 a.m., DNR officers were first deployed to St. Bernard Parish, about 25 miles southeast of New Orleans, where they rescued seven individuals who were trapped in their homes.
On Monday, they divided into two teams. One team went into downtown New Orleans and evacuated 12 people. The other team was deployed to Chalmette, LA to assist with 911 call response and provide security escorts for utility companies. Chalmette is also flooded and lies just eight miles from downtown New Orleans.
Tuesday and Wednesday, DNR officers worked in downtown New Orleans and around the area of the Superdome. There, they performed over 30 rescues, provided security for work crews and responded to numerous 911 calls for help.
The officers departed New Orleans on Thursday morning and arrived back in Columbia on Friday, September 9, 2005.
"We're extremely proud of these brave officers who willingly volunteered for this difficult and hazardous assignment," Taylor said. "They endured and witnessed some of the harshest working conditions, destruction and devastation ever experienced in this country. All South Carolinians can be proud of the way these fine officers served their fellow Americans and represented their home state."