(St. Charles Parish, LA)- When Hurricane Ida’s 100-plus mph winds tore through St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, Deputy Sheriff Desiree Bodin Banegas, responded to the chaos and destruction alongside her fellow deputies. For five hours, Hurricane Ida, pounded St. Charles Parish, leaving in her wake, downed power lines, toppled trees, flooding and chaos.
Emergency lines were also impacted, leaving first responders cut-off from dispatchers and other crucial communications. For 15 years, deputy Bodin Banegas has patrolled St. Charles Parish, just 20 miles upriver from New Orleans. She has seen destruction in this area before-through previous storms that not only impacted the Parish where she works, but closer to home as well. Winds from Hurricane Ida tore away a front porch at her home that was recently rebuilt following Hurricane Zeta damage last year.
Parked in her cruiser, blocking a street in Westwego, littered with downed power lines, furniture and storm debris, Deputy Bodin Banegas said her heart and prayers are with the people living and working in the Parish, as well as in other areas impacted once again by storm damage.
“We have been here every day and we will continue to be here. My husband, Stephen, is also a deputy sheriff-he’s in that other vehicle on the other end of this street, and we also have a two-year old. But this is the job, and this is our community too.” Deputy Bodin Banegas said she and her fellow deputies are ‘grateful’ for the men and women of The Salvation Army. “You all do a lot of good, and are right here, so ‘thank y’all,'” said Bodin Banegas.
Emergency Disaster Services crews continue to serve hot meals and beverages to survivors of Hurricane Ida, as well as provide bulk distribution of cleanup kits, hygiene kits, laundry detergent, gloves, MREs, Breakfast boxes, flashlights, and other relief items in impacted areas.
Disaster relief crews have served more than 371,926 meals, 193,003 drinks, and 93,231 snacks in response to Hurricane Ida.