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Louisiana Sends Emergency Response Teams To Puerto Rico, Starts Statewide Donation Drive

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana is sending hundreds of its National Guard troops and emergency response officials to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help with recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria.

         In Puerto Rico, 167 members of a Louisiana Army National Guard engineer company are helping with water infrastructure repairs. Another group of 163 military police officers will assist with security. They'll be on the island for 30 days.

         Other Louisiana emergency responders will be working on housing plans for displaced citizens in Puerto Rico.

         In the U.S. Virgin Islands, a small group of National Guard and state homeland security staff will assist with recovery efforts for two weeks.

         Gov. John Bel Edwards' office Thursday announced the emergency responders' deployment, which is done through a state-to-state compact established in 1996.

         Louisiana is also launching a statewide donation drive to help get needed supplies to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.

         Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the effort Wednesday, citing Puerto Rican officials who said the island faces a humanitarian crisis without more direct assistance.

         The items sought for the donation drive are diapers, non-perishable baby formula, baby wipes, bottles and feminine care products. The items will be collected through Oct. 11.

         In Orleans Parish, collection sites include:


• N.O. Fire Department

2118 Elysian Fields Ave.


• N.O. Fire Department

5403 Read Blvd.


• N.O. Fire Department

2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.


         A list of collection sites in all 64 parishes is available here

         The governor's office says other items for collection may be added in the future, but keeping the initial donation list limited will help make shipping quicker. The Louisiana Army National Guard will handle collection and transportation of the items to Puerto Rico.


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