Calcasieu Parish: Ignore false social media posts, you can go back - but there are restrictions

Security guard rides out Hurricane Laura in skyscraper.

CALCASIEU PARISH, La. (WVUE) - Some social media posts claim that you are not allowed back in Calcasieu Parish. That is not true. When you go back, some parish officials have suggested a look-and-leave approach for now.

There is no timeline for when life will get back to the new normal. The information below is directly from the parish government.

  • The National Guard will be distributing food, water, ice and tarps to residents at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30 at the Lake Charles Civic Center. One tarp per vehicle. The National Guard is working with the parish to make these commodities available in the more rural parts of the parish. More information is to come.
  • The Red Cross has disaster supply and food sites at McMurry Park, 300 S Hazel St, Sulphur, and the Lake Charles Civic Center. Both will open at noon Sunday, Aug. 30. 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 meals at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center. On Monday, two meal times will be provided at this location. Times TBA.
  • 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. This assists providers to begin delivering service sooner, while reducing issues like leaks or broken pipes that would cause a shutdown of water systems. Crews continue to work to identify issues and make necessary repairs. 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.
  • It’s crucial to practice generator safety. The parish has reported five deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning this week. Make sure generators are hooked up 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 linited, 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.
  • Traffic signals are not working. When driving, treat every intersection as a four-way stop.
  • Contractors and the National Guard have made much progress with debris clearance – they are still in the “push phase” – pushing debris to the side of the road. The next phase will be removal.
  • Communications in the parish are 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/ ) and Beauregard Electric ( www.becioutage.org) say damage is extensive and widespread and that residents should expect to be out of electricity for weeks.
  • Call United Way’s 211 to connect with resources for help.
  • The National Guard will also begin COVID-19 testing again on Sunday, Aug. 30. Times TBD.
  • 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. The majority of the system’s 70 buildings have damage. For information, visit https://www.cpsb.org/.

Be cautious and aware of scams. The Louisiana Attorney General’s website has details at https://www.ag.state.la.us/

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