WHEELING, Ill – A convoy of 17 vehicles returned home to Wheeling Labor Day night after 45 members of the Illinois Urban Search and Rescue team spent a week in Louisiana helping victims of Hurricane Ida.

The Illinois Task Force one comprises firefighters from Arlington Heights, Carol Stream, Elk Grove Village, Glenview, Lisle, Naperville, Northbrook and Schaumburg. 

Once on the ground, the group had an important mission assigned to a 270 square mile area in Livingston parish. 

“It was very widespread damage. As we started getting closer and closer to southern Louisiana, we started seeing trees down and as we got closer, we saw structural damage. The roofs were gone, buildings were collapsed,” said Rick Zakaras with Naperville Fire Department.