As Hurricane Isaac continues pounding the Gulf Coast region with drenching rains and 80 mile-per-hour winds, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel from all CBP components deployed to the Incident Command Post (ICP) at the CBP New Orleans Air and Marine Air Branch, 45 miles north of New Orleans, are working around the clock ensuring that all employees in the affected areas are accounted for.
"During the first hours of Hurricane Isaac, employee accountability has been critical. We are concentrating our efforts on the safety of our employees across the region," said Robert C. Gomez ICP Incident Commander. "The ICP is constantly conducting impact assessments of our personnel, our facilities and our operations."
The ICP in coordination with Lead Field Coordinator (LFC) Chief Rosendo Hinojosa has activated response teams which are prepared to provide emergency assistance for employees or facilities in distress, in support of CBP's primary mission.
The hurricane made landfall Tuesday night, leaving more than 560,000 residents, mostly in Louisiana, without power. Total rainfall amounts of seven to 14 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, are forecast over much of Louisiana, southern Alabama, southern Mississippi, and the extreme western Florida Panhandle.
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended port operations from Pensacola, Florida, to Morgan City, Louisiana.
Personnel and resources from Field Operations, Border Patrol and Air and Marine have effectively implemented a coordinated response operation to Hurricane Isaac. The ICP is coordinating all components' efforts with the LFC and the Joint Operations Directorate.
Hurricane Isaac made initial landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale when it passed over the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana around 7:45 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, August 28.
Severe flooding is reported in the area as the system moves northwest of Louisiana with maximum sustained winds remaining near 80 mph, with higher gusts.
All personnel are encouraged to stay in contact with local management to ensure personnel accountability throughout the duration and recovery of the hurricane.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.