YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — A local auxiliary deputy jumped into action after Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast as a category 4 storm, bringing flooding and devastating damage to the region. He now finds himself one of the areas hardest hit.
“It was pretty bad,” said Auxiliary Deputy Jason Patch, who works for the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office. “It is complete and total destruction… There is a lot of damage to structures. A lot of power lines are down.”
Patch left last Friday and made the 15-hour drive to Louisiana armed with a truck full of supplies and rations.
“I have six chainsaws, 100 blades, 150 bottles of Gatorade, 80 gallons of diesel and lanterns that I pass out to people,” he said.
His days have been long and there is a lot more work that needs to be done.
“All the law enforcement I’ve run into have been very thankful and glad someone is around helping,” Patch added. “I’ve been cutting trees. A lot of people, I’ll go around and if they need their driveways cleared, stuff like that. Roads that were not passable when I showed up.”
Patch has spent most of his time in Hammond, Louisiana, which is one of the areas hardest hit.
“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “You feel bad. There is only so much you can do.”
It’s not the first time Patch has jumped into action. 10 On Your Side interviewed him four years ago when he was in Florida after Hurricane Irma. He says he sees a lot of similarities — but Ida is worse.
“I think Ida has taken the cake for damage,” Patch added.
Patch isn’t sure when he plans on coming home. He says he plans to stay as long as he is needed.