Ohio Task Force 1 moves into Lake Charles, Louisiana area in support of Hurricane Laura relief

VANDALIA — UPDATE @ 10:35 a.m. (Aug. 28):

Ohio Task Force 1 has moved into Louisiana and is continuing support and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.

>>RELATED: Hurricane Laura makes landfall as Category 4 storm

Friday morning OHTF1 moved from Shreveport, Louisiana into the Calcasieu Lake area, which is directly south of the city of Lake Charles, which sustained significant damage when Laura made landfall as a Category 4 storm Thursday, Phil Sinewe, public information officer said in a media release.

In the Calcasieu Lake area, OHTF1 will conduct various search and rescue operations as needed by local authorities, Sinewe said.

>>RELATED: WHIO reporter, formerly of Lake Charles, La., speaks to those bracing for Hurricane Laura

“The spirit and enthusiasm of these men and women is simply amazing,” Team Task Force Leader, Jack Reall said in the release. “They are well trained and ready to jump in to help the people of Louisiana recover from this storm.”

The 84-member urban search and rescue team deployed from Vandalia Wednesday night initially to Texas to await further assignments.

Members of the team are comprised of several components and specialties including search, rescue, medical, hazardous materials, and logistics and planning.

We’ll continue to update this story as we details become available.


An 84-member Ohio Task Force 1 team activated and departed to College Station, Texas to await further instructions as the team plans to aid in support of Hurricane Laura relief.

The team, complete with four boats, two inflatable boats and a search & rescue dog, left their Vandalia facility for the 17 1/2-hour trip to Texas just after 10 p.m. Wednesday.

All have been tested for COVID-19, program manager Evan Schumann told News Center 7′s Monica Castro, and every team member has PPE.

>>RELATED: Remnants of hurricanes Marco, Laura to impact Miami Valley

Members of the urban search and rescue team met at OHTF1′s facility Wednesday evening before departing at night.

While College Station, Texas is the initial deployment location, that location is anticipated to change.

Hurricane Laura made landfall early Thursday morning as a Category 4 storm near Cameron, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.