Northeast Florida State Incident Management Team helps recovery, response efforts after Ida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Right now, a number of local agencies are in Louisiana helping with recovery operations after Hurricane Ida.

Action News Jax’s Courtney Cole spoke to John Ward, the Incident Commander of one of the six Florida teams helping to get resources, from all over the nation.

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They’re based out of Thibodaux, which is about 90 minutes from where Ida made landfall.

“Our base of operation is literally on Nicholls State University. Obviously, their university has got damaged. A lot of the areas here will not have power restored for weeks,” Ward told Action News Jax.

Ward, the incident commander for the state’s Region 3 Incident Management Team, said the community of Thibodaux, Louisiana, has really welcomed them.

“We have a 10,000 square mile radius; it’s better known as the boot of Louisiana,” Ward said.

Ward, who is locally the director of Clay County Emergency Management, said he arrived last Wednesday morning, Aug. 31.

The agency’s goal is to help get more resources for the local fire departments because many of them were destroyed during Ida.

Clay County Emergency Management is one of the six agencies assisting with response and recovery efforts after Ida.

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Ward said a strike team of engineers from Jacksonville is headed to Port Fourchon today. Port Fourchon is an important part of the oil industry.

Ward said his team members are also managing the construction of a tent city for first responders in Thibodaux — known as the base of operations.

“We have first responders. We have law enforcement officers, National Guard. We have a lot of different folks staying in here now,” Ward said.

Ward said they are also sending units to help the current emergency medical services handle the vast number of calls.

He will plan to return this Sunday.