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Virginia Task Force 2 returns home to Hampton Roads following hurricane relief efforts

Dozens of Virginia Task Force 2 members were called to assist with the aftermath of Ida in Louisiana and New Jersey.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — After spending seven days away from home, 45 members of Virginia Task Force 2 are back in Hampton Roads. They assisted in a city called Hammond in Louisiana.

Task Force Leader Mike Hopkins said while the city is inland, it was still hit hard by Hurricane Ida.

"It was pretty devastated. It got hit with some high winds, some pretty good floods. It had a lot of downed trees, a lot of downed power lines, a lot of damaged structures," said Hopkins.

Hopkins told 13News Now that despite the devastation, people's spirits remained high.

Reports show Ida's death toll in Louisiana at 12 as of Saturday. Up in the Northeastern states like New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut—a grimmer toll of at least 49.

Sixteen members of Virginia Task Force 2 were sent to help with the devastation Ida left behind in New Jersey. They were on standby at a staging area, but got the all-clear to come home Saturday.

The Virginia Beach-based team said they couldn’t do their jobs without the support of their community. They are made up of first responders from cities all across the 757.

"Excellent teamwork by all of them. I really appreciate the families, friends and citizens of our cities that support us to do these jobs and allow us to do it," said Hopkins. 

Thousands of people are still without power in the East Coast communities hit hard by Ida. Death tolls are expected to continue rising.