Here's the latest on how to access resources and assistance in southwest Louisiana.
FEMA Individual Assistance has been turned on for Region 5, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Vernon and Jeff Davis Parishes. Any evacuee from those parishes who needs assistance should immediately contact FEMA either by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by going online to www.disasterassistance.gov.
Assistance from FEMA may help households affected by a disaster take care of necessary expenses and serious needs that cannot be met through insurance or other forms of assistance. These include, but are not limited to, housing assistance, rental assistance, lodging expense reimbursement, home repair and other needs assistance like medical, child care, and transportation support.
Disaster survivors may apply for the Individuals and Households Program or check their application status at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Disaster survivors may also access FEMA via smartphone by downloading the application from www.fema.gov or through their mobile provider’s application store.
Disaster survivors may call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-3362 to register for assistance or check their application status. Disaster survivors who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and use a Text Telephone (TTY) may call 1-800-462-7585. If you have any concerns or further questions, please call 211 or 337-232-HELP for more information.
And, here's the latest information from Calcasieu Parish Government about Hurricane Laura recovery:
- The National Guard will be distributing food, water, ice and tarps to residents from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 30 at the Lake Charles Civic Center and at McMurry Park, 300 Hazel St., Sulphur. One tarp per vehicle. The National Guard is working with the parish to make these commodities available in other parts of the parish. An announcement on new locations is expected soon.
- The Red Cross has disaster supply and food sites at the two National Guard supply sites at McMurry Park, 300 S Hazel St., Sulphur, and the Lake Charles Civic Center. Additionally, the Red Cross also has a site at 2000 Moeling St., Lake Charles. They will provide items such as cots, mops, brooms, buckets, PPE, snacks and bottled water. Partnering with the Southern Baptists, Red Cross will also be providing two meals daily at these sites. For information, visit calcasieuparish.gov.
- There will be free COVID-19 testing, as well as Tetanus and Hepatitis-A shots starting Wednesday, September 2, at the Gulfway Shopping Center, 115 West McNeese St. COVID-19 testing will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tetanus and Hepatitis-A shots will be from 9 a.m. to 3p.m.
- The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Animal Services and Adoption Center announced that only authorized personnel are allowed to provide animal rescue and sheltering for animals from Calcasieu Parish. Under no circumstances should animals be transported out of the parish or an emergency pet shelter be established without authorization from the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. If you see an animal in distress, contact Animal Services at 337-853-9573.
- Water service has been restored for some residents in the parish. City of Lake Charles water service is still extremely limited. All residents in Calcasieu Parish - including within municipalities - who are experiencing water outages are being urged to turn off their water at the roadside water valves if they are able to safely do so. Please contact your water system provider should you suspect a leak or other damage to your water system. Once water is restored, it is advised that residents adhere to a boil advisory until it is safe for those advisories to be lifted.
- To register for FEMA federal disaster assistance, call 1-800-621-3362 or register online at disasterassistance.gov. If you have insurance, contact your adjuster and begin the insurance process.
- Road conditions are dangerous throughout the parish. Many roads are still impassable. Power lines are dangling; most traffic lights are on the ground – drive slowly and carefully.
- Officials are urging residents to practice generator safety. The parish has reported five deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning this week. Make sure generators are installed correctly and never operate them in enclosed spaces.
- Residents who wish to return to Calcasieu Parish will not be stopped from doing so, with the understanding that services are extremely limited, including water, power, gasoline, groceries and hospitals. Any citizens wishing to return are strongly encouraged to secure their homes then return to evacuation. Citizens who stay must be self-sufficient.
- Residents who remain in the parish must adhere to the 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew. Essential employees should have their work IDs with them at all times. Deputies are stopping people out after curfew.
- Most traffic signals are not working. When driving, treat every intersection as a four-way stop.
- The parish, contractors and the National Guard have made much progress with debris clearance – they are finishing the “push phase” – pushing debris to the side of the road. The next phase of removal will begin in the next day or two.
- Communications in the parish continues to be inconsistent. There are significant landline and cell phone system problems parish wide. Many agencies are experiencing radio problems.
- Officials are asking residents to be practical with cell phone use. Text whenever possible and use short phone calls when necessary.
- Officials with Entergy ( https://www.entergy.com/view-outages/ [entergy.com] ) and Beauregard Electric ( www.becioutage.org [becioutage.org]) say damage is extensive and widespread and that residents should expect to be out of electricity for several weeks.
- Call United Way’s 211 to connect with resources for help.
- Nearly all of the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s buildings sustained damage. As a result, all parish offices will be closed until further notice.
- Calcasieu Parish schools will be closed until further notice. For information, visit https://www.cpsb.org/ [cpsb.org]
Here's some more information on the Red Cross operations:
August 30, 2020 The American Red Cross of Louisiana and its partners will be establishing several fixed distribution sites today, Sunday August 30, in Calcasieu and Beauregard parishes. At these sites residents will be able to pick up emergency supplies such as clean-up kits, tarps, flashlights, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, hand sanitizer and trash bags.
Calcasieu parish will have two fixed sites distributing the above supplies from 12:00PM – 3:00PM:
- Site #1: Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles, LA 70601
- Site #2: McMurry Park, 300 South Hazel Street Sulphur, LA 70663
Beauregard Parish will have two fixed sites distributing the above supplies from 12:00PM – 3:00PM:
- Site #1: Park Terrace Shopping Center, 1011 N Pine Street, Deridder, LA 70634
- Site #2: South Beauregard Elementary, 12380 Highway 171, Longville, LA 70652
Additional distribution sites will be established in the coming days. You can keep up via Twitter and Facebook pages at ARCLouisiana for updated information as it becomes available.
Here's some information on Kroger's efforts to assist with recovery:
Kroger has announced that they will reopen their Lake Charles location this Sunday, August 30 at Noon, sending ten trailers full of water and food with a police escort from the Houston Distribution Center located at 701 Gellhorn Street. Joining Kroger on route will be the Kroger Emergency Response Team and Mobile Pharmacy Trailer, following the caravan of trucks as they make their way down I-10 and across the Texas Louisiana border to Lake Charles.
As families who evacuated the Lake Charles area ahead of Hurricane Laura return back to their hometown, many are left without access to power or running water and have damage to their homes. The Kroger Emergency Response Team will be in the parking lot of the store located at 2010 Country Club Rd with 18-wheelers of water ready to distribute to the community, surrounded by banners emblazoned with the phrase “We Are Here For You”, a message of support to a community in recovery.
“As we look at the devastation Hurricane Laura brought, we want nothing more than to be here for our neighbors, our associates, and our community,” said Joe Kelley, President of Kroger. “The water lines are down so we brought plenty of water to distribute free of charge, and we have an industrial strength generator powering our store to allow people access to the necessities they need. We are here for the families impacted want them to know we are on site to help.”
Customers can visit the Kroger store, located at 2010 Country Club Road that afternoon to pick up their free gallon of water, as well as complimentary hot dogs at a cookout in the parking lot hosted by Nolan Ryan.