Central Florida crews help with recovery after Hurricane Laura hits Louisiana

Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce 4 arrived early Thursday morning

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Hurricane Laura hammered southwestern Louisiana with fierce winds and torrential rain.

As it weakened an elite team of roughly 40 highly skilled firefighters from Central Florida were deployed from Orlando and arrived near Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce 4 arrived early Thursday morning.

“We are running our operations right now out of an airport near Lake Charles. Looking around one whole neighborhood is completely destroyed, the neighborhood next door not quite damaged,” Lt. Tod Zellers with Seminole County Fire Department said.

The team compromised of firefighters, rescue K9s and paramedics with Orlando Police Department, Orange County Fire Department, Seminole County Fire Department, and Clermont firefighters.

Firefighters with Task Force 4 aren’t new to this.

Lt. Tod Zellers said the specialized team was activated to respond when Hurricane Harvey and Michael hit. He said this time it is much different because of the pandemic.

“We’ve been boots on the ground since about 11 o’clock today we were dispatched with a 14-day deployment order,” Lt. Zellers said.

Despite Laura’s trail of destruction, the rescue team said they are committed to helping.

The group is mobilized at an airport in Lake Charles and that floodwaters have receded.