Local OEP officials return from trip, report on Hurricane Sandy damage

By By John Guidroz / American Press

Two local emergency response officials who spent a week in New York surveying devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy said those

affected face an uphill battle before life will return to normal.

“They’ve got a big road ahead of them,” said Rob Daughdril, an emergency medical service specialist for the Calcasieu Parish

Office of Emergency Preparedness.

Daughdril and Norman Bordeau, OEP operations manager, traveled with three other emergency officials to respond to the immediate

needs in the areas affected by the storm. The New York State Office of Emergency Management requested the help through the

Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

Bordeau said the group arrived in Albany, N.Y., and quickly moved to Nassau County in Long Island to assist with the immediate

needs at the local level.

“Over the next four days, I focused on debris removal, contracting and temporary housing,” he said.

Daughdril said the Northeastern geography creates different problems than those experienced in Southwest Louisiana.

“Some of these homes have a lot of construction and demolition debris because they don’t have a large number of trees that

we had,” he said. “Down here you can put a FEMA trailer on a piece of property. There, they’re on top of each other.”

Daughdril said officials there have

already learned the importance of communication, especially after Long

Island Power Authority

customers mistakenly thought their power was being restored.

He said the recovery experience was quite different than in Southwest Louisiana.

“After our storms, we sweat,” he said. “Up there we had to wear a coat. Now they have piles of debris covered in snow.”

Bordeau said their office is expecting to send people back to New York for additional emergency response assignments.

Dexter Accardo, director of the St.

Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center; Kevin Davis, Governor’s

Office of Homeland

Security and Emergency Preparedness director; and Christopher

Guilbeaux, GOHSEP operations manager, also participated in the

mission.