Houston man assists with rescues following Hurricane Ida

The worst of Hurricane Ida has departed Louisiana but not without leaving a mark.

“It was really bad,” said Paul Middendorf, a field director with the non-profit group Crowdsource Rescue.

Middendorf lives in Houston but traveled east to help folks with a canoe following the storm.

“I ended up in the neighborhood sort of mid-LaPlace where the water was about 10 feet deep and most of the folks had been in their attics,” Middendorf said.

He said the water had receded to about chest deep or waist-deep by the time he arrived.

“In the later hours, I had help from fire departments and the National Guard and I pulled 40-50 people out of the water and then I assisted with about another 50,” Middendorf said.

Crowdsource Rescue, which started during Hurricane Harvey, said about 70 people from Houston made the trip to help with water rescues and wellness checks.

“No area needs a storm or wants a storm but you know, you really just got to feel for Louisiana,” said Matthew Marchetti, executive director.

Marchetti said the group’s volunteers got to work in the early morning hours after the winds died down.

“Lots of damage,” Marchetti said. “Lots of people still stuck in their house. As I mentioned, a lot of people weren’t able to evacuate in time just because it came so quick.”

And even after the group’s mission wraps up, Middendorf said there will be a lot of recovery work left to do.

Marchetti said the wellness checks, or checking to make sure people are ok, would probably continue for another day or two.

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