On Wednesday, Calcasieu Parish officials provided an update on the parish's response to and recovery from Hurricane Laura.
Here's the latest information:
- The Parish Drop-off Point operations at Chennault International Airport, 364 Mallard Cove St., Lake Charles, are continuing. Residents who want to come home and whose homes have limited damage are being transported to this drop off point to be returned to their homes. Residents who return home and find it to be unlivable are asked to call 911. Residents who return to their homes and need help with food, supplies or related needs are asked to call 211. Red Cross and the United Way are set up at Chennault to help returning evacuees with necessary services and supplies.
- The parish curfew is still 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. daily. Sheriff Tony Mancuso said the curfew is still in place because of dangers associated with street debris, streetlights still being out and traffic signs not all being in place.
- Calcasieu Parish Public Works has replaced all the stop signs at parish intersections. It is now working on replacing other street signs. After that, street name signs will be replaced. If you see a sign missing, call 721-3700.
- The parish debris contractor is still making its first pass collecting storm debris – this process should last another month. After that, additional passes will be made as needed and will continue into 2021. Nearly 50 percent of debris remains. A total of 134 trucks are removing debris daily from the 1,100 miles of parish roads. Debris is being taken to eight temporary landfills – more are being added to quicken the process. Trucks are removing an estimated 60,000 cubic yards of debris a day. 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 [l.facebook.com] for a graphic and video explaining the separation process.
- The Region 5 Office of Public Health’s office at 3236 Kirkman St. was damaged during Hurricane Laura. It has now temporarily set up operations at the Sulphur Health Unit at 201 Edgar St. Residents can call the Lake Charles office’s number at 337-478-6020 [google.com] and it will be rerouted to the Sulphur facility.
- There is a Community Primary Care Clinic, staffed by LSU Family Medicine residency physicians, set up in the parking lot of the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit parking lot, 3236 Kirkman St., Lake Charles. It will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. The clinic can handle such services as medication refills for chronic conditions; ordering routine labs, x-rays or other imaging; blood pressure and vital signs checks; basic physical exams; basic medical advice and helping residents connect with available specialists who have resumed their services. There is no out-of-pocket expense for residents and no insurance information is required.
- FEMA still has a drive-thru document drop-off site for residents at the Calcasieu Parish School Board, 3310 Broad St. Hours are 7 a.m.-5 p.m. In addition, there are two sites that offer walk up services: Huber Park Community Center, 24021 Fourth Ave. (14th Street entrance) in Lake Charles (open Oct. 1- Oct. 8) and Martin Luther King Center, 2009 N. Simmons St., Lake Charles (open through Oct. 8). Both are open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Face masks are required.
- FEMA has programs to help residents whose homes were destroyed or uninhabitable. Direct housing provides use of a FEMA-issued temporary housing units. Renters whose home or property was damaged by Hurricane Laura can apply for federal disaster assistance to help pay for temporary housing. Grants can also be used for essential personal property including furniture, appliances, clothing, job-related equipment and primary vehicles.
- FEMA Division Supervisor Jerry Stolar reminded residents that they should register with FEMA once to be eligible to be considered registration guarantee temporary housing. FEMA will call eligible homeowners. They began making calls and are doing so seven days a week. FEMA asks residents to contact them if they are not reached within 7-10 days. Visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov [calcasieuparish.gov], download the FEMA mobile app at fema.gov/about/news-multimedia/app [calcasieuparish.gov] or call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or TTY 800-462-7585.
- Entergy and Beauregard Electric both report less than 1 percent of its residents are still without power. Both companies said they will continue doing additional repairs and replacing streetlights in the parish though November. If you need Entergy to reconnect your service after repairs are made, call 866-557-4240.
- Suddenlink spokesman Robbie Lee said service has been restored to 25 percent – or 11,200 parish customers. The company estimates 50 percent of customers will be restored in two weeks and all customers should be restored by mid-November. The Suddenlink facility at 1538 E. Prien Lake Road is now open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. There’s a Wi-fi hotspot for customers in the parking lot and an additional hotspot is now available at Prien Lake Park on the south side. Additional hotspots will become available soon.
- 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. No bags are being picked up at this time. Calcasieu Parish residents in unincorporated areas, 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.
- Visit 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 75 pets with their owners over the past three weeks. 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 [calcasieuparish.gov]. To apply for and check the status of building permits online, visit www.calcasieuparish.gov/Permits [l.facebook.com]. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Chamber SWLA and the SWLA Economic Development Alliance has opened a Business Recovery Center at the SEED Center, 4310 Ryan St., Lake Charles. At the center business owners from the five-parish area can speak to Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives and get help with SBA applications. They can also use computers and internet at the facility. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by appointment only. For more information, call the SEED Center at 337-433-3632.
- United Way of Southwest Louisiana’s Hurricane Relief Center 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 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. seven days a week. Volunteers are needed. To make a donation, visit https://unitedwayswla.org/donations [l.facebook.com] to fill out an online form.
- 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.
- 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
- 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. [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.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.
- 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.
- All Calcasieu Parish Police Jury offices are closed to the public. Call 337-721-3500 with any questions.
The next parish briefing is Wednesday, Oct. 7.
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