NORTH PORT, Fla. — Hurricane Ida may be long gone but a trail of destruction left behind remains a challenge for many.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers in Louisiana lost their homes to the storm when it hit the Gulf Coast of the state on August 29.
Officers at the North Port Police Department have started gathering donations in a bid to help others.
"It is frightening, each and every hurricane that could come into this area, so we may be asking for help one day as well," Commander Joe Fussell of North Port Police Officers Association said.
In a Facebook post, the department asked for the public to join them in bringing in donations for the Terrebonne Parrish Sheriff's Office in Houma, Louisiana.
Out of 300 employees at the agency, around 200 had their homes damaged or destroyed after the storm made landfall near Port Fourchon, Louisiana, as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150-mph.
"What a lot of people don't know is when a hurricane comes into the community a lot of these essential employees such as law enforcement are ordered into certain areas strategically place to help the community," Fussell said.
Many of those officers and employees lost everything including irreplaceable keepsakes and have to start from scratch. That's why the department is calling for donations of both cash and essential items all week.
"They don't expect to have power for four to eight weeks so we're looking for generators, we're looking for air-conditioning units, we're looking for essential items like underwear, socks, T-shirts from small to 3-X," Fussell added.
The officers are also asking for donations of baby formula, baby food, cleaning supplies and canned goods. They also need canisters of gasoline to help power generators and cars.
Members of the public can drop off items in the lobby of the North Port Police Department until Friday. Cash or check donations are also accepted. If you require assistance with your donations, you can contact Commander Joe Fussell at 941-740-1612 or JFussell@NorthPortPD.com. Donations must be received by 5 p.m. on Sept.10.
People can also stop by the Walmart at 17000 Tamiami Trail between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sept. 10 to donate supplies.
The list below is an example of some of the items needed.
• Baby Formula
• Baby Food
• Feminine hygiene products
• Pet food
• Toilet paper
• Paper towels
• Soap (all kinds)
• W30 oil
• Window units
• Extension cords
• Garbage bags
• Cleaning supplies
• Blankets and pillows