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FEMA releases housing program outline for SWLA, Hurricane Laura victims

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 19:36:55-04

LAKE CHARLES, La. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency released a broad outline of plans to provide housing for residents in Southwest Louisiana whose homes were left uninhabitable due to Hurricane Laura.

FEMA Division Supervisor Jerry Stolar announced during the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s public briefing on Wednesday that FEMA would provide assistance with the following options:

  • Rental Assistance
  • Placing a FEMA RV or manufactured home on a survivor’s property
  • Placing survivors in a FEMA RV or manufactured home at an approved RV or manufactured home park

According to a release, CPPJ President Tony Guillory signed two executive orders on Sept. 23 to facilitate the FEMA program. One allows for the temporary dwellings to be placed on properties in unincorporated areas and the second waives fees for permits to repair or replace structures.

FEMA says it will contact residents whose homes have been identified as being uninhabitable to begin the program. FEMA says residents should contact them if they are not reached within 7-10 days.

For more details, residents are asked to visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov, download the FEMA mobile app at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.

The Calcasieu Parish curfew is now 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. daily to allow businesses to stay open longer. Law enforcement will continue to make curfew stops and arrests nightly. More than 475 stops and arrests have been made since the original curfew began.

Water service has been restored for most residents in Calcasieu Parish. Please contact your water system provider should you suspect a leak or other damage to your water system. The following systems have reported that their boil advisories have been lifted:

  • Moss Bluff
  • Vinton
  • Lake Charles
  • Westlake
  • Carlyss
  • Mossville Waterworks District No. 2
  • Sulphur
  • Waterworks District 12 of Ward 3 (Big Lake and South Lake Charles areas)
  • DeQuincy

The Parish Pick-Up Point operations at Chennault International Airport, 364 Mallard Cove St., Lake Charles, has been extended until Oct. 2. Residents who need transportation to evacuate can call 911 and they will be taken to this location. The site will also function as the drop-off point for returning evacuees. Transportation is available from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. The 24-hour-a-day comfort station, which provides air conditioning, water and food for those individuals who arrive outside of transportation hours, is also still available. Paratransit will also provide transport from the Parish Drop-Off Point to their homes if they are unable to find transportation themselves. The Ward 3 Marshal’s Office will continue to provide security between 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the site.

The parish debris contractor is still making its first pass collecting storm debris – this process should last another two weeks. Trucks have no set routes. A total of 134 trucks are removing debris daily. To date, more than two million cubic yards of waste has been removed from roadways. Debris trucks have extended boom claws so residents do not need to place debris in the ditches or block the roadways. It is important to sort debris when placing it curbside – separate piles into vegetation, construction, appliances/white goods, electronics and hazardous household waste. Visit the Hurricane Laura Emergency Information Page at calcasieuparish.gov for a graphic and video explaining the separation process.

Calcasieu Parish residential garbage collection routes are operating on their regular schedules. Delays are possible due to volume of waste. Waste Management is accepting household trash in containers only. Calcasieu Parish residents in unincorporated areas (including Ward One), whose homes have not been serviced by noon on the day following their scheduled day, may call 436-7229. If you’re missing a trash container, call 436-7229.

The Residential Solid Waste Convenience Centers in Lake Charles and Sulphur are closed until further notice.

Check out Calcasieu Parish Animal Services' new link at petharbor.com for Hurricane Laura pets. If you are holding or found an animal since the storm, please make a post on the Pet Harbor Disaster page. Animal Services has reunited 60 pets with their owners over the past three weeks, with more to come. If you see any animal injured or in distress, call the shelter's temporary phone number at 337-853-9573 for assistance. Please like the shelter’s Facebook Page at “Calcasieu Parish ASA.”

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Division of Planning and Development has guidance on which storm-related repairs need permits for the work to be completed. Residents in unincorporated areas of Calcasieu Parish need to obtain permits if their electrical service (e.g. the weatherhead) is damaged or if they have structural damage (e.g. new framing is required to repair the roof). They do not need permits if the electrical damage is limited to the utility company’s components (e.g. the line is down at the road) or if the damage is cosmetic (e.g. replacing shingles). Other examples are non-structural roofing, tarping and demolition. For more detailed information, visit https://www.calcasieuparish.gov/services/planning-development . To apply for and check the status of building permits online, visit www.calcasieuparish.gov/Permits. If you have any questions, call 721-3600 or 721-3610. Staff is limited so please be patient when calling.

The Division of Planning and Development has opened a temporary office at Prien Lake Park, Harbor’s Edge Pavilion, 3700 West Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles for those who need permits and licenses to perform Hurricane Laura recovery work in Calcasieu Parish. Office hours will be 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. The office will issue temporary work licenses for Calcasieu Parish and all municipalities, as well as construction, electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits for the unincorporated areas of Calcasieu Parish. All fees for licenses and permits will be waived until further notice. A representative from the State Fire Marshal’s Office will also be on site to answer questions about repairs and reconstruction of commercial facilities. For more information, call 337-721-3600 or 337-721-3610 or email planning@calcasieuparish.gov.

The United Way of SWLA and the United Cajun Navy’s parish warehouse supply and food pickup location is located at 2401 6th St., Lake Charles, for those in need. Available items include non-perishable food, pet food, bottled water and cleaning supplies. Hot meals will be available at lunch every day. Donations can be dropped off at this location. It will be open 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week. Volunteers are needed. To make a donation, visit https://unitedwayswla.org/donations to fill out an online form.

Calcasieu Parish Mosquito Control Calcasieu Parish Mosquito Control is expecting another outbreak of mosquitoes from this latest round of rain and extremely high tides. They will be out spraying nightly using four planes and ten trucks. In the meantime, Mosquito Control recommends all residents wear repellent at all times when outdoors. To see the most current spray schedule, visit https://www.calcasieuparish.gov/services/mosquito-control/spray-schedule.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has free tarps through Operation Blue Roof. Calcasieu residents are eligible. Metal roofs are also eligible. To apply, call 1-888-ROOF-BLU or visit: www.usace.army.mil/blueroof. Deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

The National Guard will be distributing food, water, ice and tarps to residents from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. at the following locations: Vinton Elementary School, Westwood Elementary School in Westlake, Iowa Knights of Columbus Hall 503 US 90 in Iowa, Gillis Feed Store, 3270 US-171; DeQuincy Railroad Museum, Lake Charles Civic Center, Washington Marion High School in Lake Charles, McMurry Park (300 Hazel St.) in Sulphur, Power Center, 3009 Gerstner Lake Charles; and Grace Harbor Lighthouse, 6118 River Road, LeBleu Settlement.

The Red Cross has initiated a program to help homes destroyed or hit with major damage from Hurricane Laura. The program will give $450 to each homeowner to replace items or pay transportation costs. Red Cross will be calling all eligible residents in the parish’s damage-assessment database in the next several weeks. More info: 1-800-RED-CROSS

The Red Cross has feeding sites at nine locations. For a full list of locations and other information on services, visit @ARCLouisiana on Twitter or at Facebook.com/ARCLouisiana. For information: 1-800-RED-CROSS.

COVID-19 testing and other necessary vaccines (Tetanus, Hepatitis-A) are available 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit, 3236 Kirkman St., Lake Charles. This is a drive-thru testing and vaccination site. Please stay in your vehicle and wear a mask. You must provide a phone number and email address to be tested. An ID is NOT required. Preregister at www.DoINeedACovid19Test.com.

Rapid testing for first responders is available from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through Sept. 25. Bring your work badge/ID. Office of Public Health nurses will be available to test children ages 2-15 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Friday, Sept. 25.

The parish’s burn ban remains in effect due to dangerous downed trees and limbs, dry weather conditions and damaged water systems. The ban prohibits all outdoor private burning of any kind but doesn’t include prescribed burns. To report violations, call 225-925-4297.

A “Keep Calm Line” has been established to connect residents to resources when dealing with their stress and mental health: 1-866-310-7977. Also, residents can 211 for 24-hour crisis counseling.

Call United Way’s 211 to connect with resources for help, including places to donate items, a list of open pharmacies, Urgent Care facilities and more.

City of Lake Charles, water, sewer and trash systems are operating and the boil advisory has been lifted. For any other information, visit www.cityoflakecharles.com. Residents can also call the Mayor’s Action Line at 337-491-1346 from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

All Calcasieu Parish Police Jury offices are closed to the public, but they can call 337-721-3500 with any questions.

The next parish briefing will be Friday, Sept. 25.

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