Breaking News
More () »

Houston-area volunteers already in Louisiana helping in Ida aftermath

Volunteers with Crowdsource Rescue spent all night checking on people trapped in flooded neighborhoods.

LAPLACE, La. — Neighborhoods in LaPlace, Louisiana, looked like a lake after Hurricane Ida blew through. Many were stuck and couldn't get out.

RELATED: Ida updates: Death toll rises to two after driver drowns in New Orleans

"Major devastation. Major flooding,” CrowdSource Rescue volunteer Paul Middendorf, of Houston, said.

Middendorf hunkered down in Baton Rouge as the hurricane hit. He was up at 2 a.m. Monday searching for anyone who needed help.

"There were hundreds of people back there trapped," Middendorf said. "And so, you know, just trying to take one family at a time. The people that I didn’t take, I would try to flag someone else down.”

The immediate aftermath of any big storm like Ida requires rescue efforts by land, water and even rooftops. Then comes cleanup and rebuilding.

"Recovery really and truly is a local thing,” Houston volunteer Steve Flemming, with Team Rubicon, said.

Team Rubicon is a national organization made up mostly of veterans. Its crews in Louisiana helped clear routes for search and rescue operations on Monday morning. Recon units will make local connections and coordinate volunteers.

RELATED: HOW TO HELP | Lakewood, Gallery Furniture lead relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Ida

Flemming said they’ll eventually do the kind of work we’ve often watched them do here since Harvey. A lot of that involves construction and repairing damaged homes.

"We have the Houston Rebuild, which was born after Harvey," Flemming said. "They are definitely going to be a part of this process.”

It's a recovery process that, like Harvey, may take years.

Before You Leave, Check This Out