Twenty Oklahoma County sheriff's deputies today are helping with evacuations in Franklin, La., after a levee was breached. The deputies originally responded to a request to help with recovery efforts in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Gustav.
More than 3,000 people are expected to be relocated to a community center, civic center and St. Mary's Parish Jail. Jail inmates have been sent Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.
Deputies are also filling sandbags, putting plywood on structures and setting up emergency shelters with cots, food, water and first aid kits.
A major issue facing deputies is the breach of a levee caused by a 20-feet surge of water into Franklin, said James Absher, an Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department captain. Waves reaching 10 feet high are also pounding the city.
Absher and 19 deputies arrived in Louisiana on Tuesday.
"We are holding everything together until the full force of this storm hits between 10 p.m. and midnight tonight," Absher said. "We are prepared for the worst. The people here have been gracious and appreciative that we are here to help out."
Another group of 19 deputies was in the same area during the first week of September.