Area National Guard members giving aid in Louisiana

Freedom New Mexico

Army National Guard members from Clovis and Portales are in Louisiana to help out in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

Among the more than 500 personnel sent were 90 assigned to the 717th Brigadier Support Battalion out of Roswell, which includes members in Clovis and Portales, according to National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Ken Nava.

Nava said the troops took convoys and were in place by Friday, Nava said.

“They’re prepared to do security type missions as well as logistical type support,” he said.

Also, Clovis resident and Red Cross Volunteer Linda Roberts arrived Friday in Washington, D.C., to assist at a disaster relief call center.

She said it’s a two- to three-week commitment.

Roberts said she began volunteering with the Red Cross when Clovis experienced disaster more than a year ago.

“When the tornado hit Clovis, I felt pretty helpless. I read in the paper that the Red Cross was looking for volunteers for that,” she said. She’s been volunteering for disaster work since.

Last year, she said she went to Arkansas to assist after tornadoes struck.

Roberts said the Red Cross has a Web sites where volunteers can list their dates of availability.

Clovis Fire Department Battalion Chief Tim Peterson said his department and others in the Region III emergency responder network for the state have crews on standby to deploy to the affected areas.

They have already been called up twice, but then were canceled at the last minute, he said.

“We have boxes ready. We’re a lot more prepared and have been ready to go twice,” he said.