BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards held a media briefing about the state's response to Hurricane Laura on Tuesday where he announced that the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been approved and several more parishes have been added to apply for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Edwards said that he had not made a decision on whether the state will move into Phase 3 or remain in Phase 2 when the current emergency proclamation ends Friday. He said that he would have a decision as early as Wednesday on which phase the state will be in after Friday.
The governor said that FEMA had approved the state's request for additional parishes to be added to the list of those eligible for individual assistance. Those additional parishes are Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, Sabine and Winn Parishes.
There are currently a total of 11 parishes who now qualify for critical needs assistance from FEMA that includes $500 available for those who qualify and register for the assitance.
The governor encouraged those who may qualify to go to DisasterAssistance.gov and apply.
Edwards said that he had received word from the Department of Children & Family Services that the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program had gotten approval from the federal government for DSNAP benefits for those in the 16 parishes impacted by Hurricane Laura.
Those parishes are as follows: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Ouachita, Vermilion, Vernon, Rapides, Natchitoches, Sabine, Winn, Grant, Jackson and Lincoln
He said that the applications will be different due to COVID-19 and that applying for DSNAP will be done virtually. DSNAP will be turned on Sept. 10.
Interested residents can text LADSNAP to 898-211 or visit www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP for more details on how to register.
Those already on SNAP benefits do not need to apply because they will be registered automatically.
The governor also announced that the state had received $14.6 million in assistance from the CARES Act for saltwater fisheries negatively impacted by COVID-19.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will begin accepting applications starting 8 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 14 until Oct. 26. Residents can apply online at https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov.
Edwards said that power has been restored to a majority of those across the state, however 137,921 customers primary in the southwest region of Louisiana still remain without power.
He said that progress will be slower going forward to restore power for those remaining because of the severe damage to the infrastructure in the region.
He added that there are still boil advisories declared for those impacted area and those with concerns about water quality should call their local officials or 211 for more information.
Edwards said that 12,607 Louisianans still remain in non-congregant shelters with the majority of them in hotels in the New Orleans and Shreveport areas. Those seeking shelter assistance can text LASHELTER to 898-211.
The full press briefing from Tuesday can be viewed below:
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