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How Florida is helping those affected by Hurricane Ida

Between handing out meals, restoring power and rescuing pets, Florida crews are across the Gulf Coast with a helping hand.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Across the nation, volunteer crews and even electric line workers are headed to the northern Gulf Coast to help victims of Hurricane Ida. 

Many crews from the Florida area left the state ahead of the storm to be prepared to help as soon as Hurricane Ida passed. The storm touched down at around 2 p.m. on Sunday with Category 4 winds, bringing devastation to nearly all of southeast Louisiana, and more damage and flooding in Mississippi and Alabama. 

Here's who's helping restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast:

The American Red Cross sent 18 local workers and three emergency response vehicles to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the panhandle Saturday.

Within the volunteer crews, a two-woman team from the Tampa Bay area went to Mobile, Ala. with an emergency response vehicle Saturday morning. The truck was equipped to serve hot meals to families in need, and deliver emergency supplies. 

Monday, the American Red Cross sent nine additional local workers and a fourth emergency response vehicle from Central Florida to the Gulf Coast to help with the relief effort. 

Duke Energy Florida Strike teams went to Louisiana to assist with power restoration. The company has more than 150 Duke Energy and contract resources responding from across the state. The teams consist of linemen, vegetation management crews and damage assessors. Duke Energy will be assisting Louisiana and Cleco, a Louisiana-based company. 

Florida Power and Light Company deployed employees and contractors to support power restoration as well. A team of more than 750 employees and contractors will assist Entergy Louisiana and Cleco with their restoration. The workers, who began their journey Sunday morning, will travel to Louisiana to help wherever they are needed.

Tampa Electric has sent about 150 people to Louisiana to restore power after Hurricane Ida. About 50 Tampa Electric Line workers and support personnel left Sunday to arrive in Slidell, Louisiana to help Cleco Power. 

Another 100 contractors also left today to help Cleco and Entergy Louisiana. Crews are prepared to stay for two weeks.

Suncoast Animal League traveled to Louisiana to rescue animals ahead of oncoming Hurricane Ida. The shelter is a non-profit, no-kill, no-time-limit animal welfare agency.  The Team arrived back to Palm Harbor, Florida Sunday morning, but has plans to go back to Louisiana to pick up more pets. 

Monday, Ida weakened to a Tropical Depression as it continues to move farther inland over Mississippi.

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