Hurricane Ida triggering trauma 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Search and rescue efforts are underway in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida ripped through the state on Sunday.

The storm made landfall along the southern Louisiana coast as a strong category 4 hurricane.

Dangerous and destructive, Hurricane Ida’s arrival triggered trauma for some as the storm approached 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina brought devastation to New Orleans and the surrounding areas.

“It’s a tragic situation, but I think we don’t know exactly how bad it is. We know it’s bad. We just don’t know how bad,” said Ben Williamson who is the Communications Director for Red Cross of South Carolina.

He says 20 volunteers from South Carolina are assessing the damage in the area.

“We know [there is] significant flooding. Homes have been destroyed, power outages,” said Williamson.

“The biggest thing I do is listen to people. That’s the biggest and most important thing I can do,” said Disaster and Mental Health Supervisor for the American Red Cross, Jeff Roediger.

This is Roediger’s third year and 13th deployment outside of South Carolina and his job as a mental health counselor is to help normalize how people are feeling.

“If they’re in a shelter or if they just lost their home the emotions and mental health process that you’re going through is normal. They’re acting the way they’re supposed to react,” said Roediger.

Working behind the scenes or boots on the ground there are many ways you can help, but the goal remains the same to help those recover.

“To watch the stress just drain out of their face and see them relax and know they’re not the only ones going through this is hope for their recovery,” said Roediger.

For information on how you can become a volunteer click here.