Calcasieu Parish updates on Hurricane Laura recovery - Sept. 14

Calcasieu officials hold briefing on Hurricane Laura recovery

From the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Here’s Calcasieu Parish’s Hurricane Laura recovery update for Monday, Sept. 14, 2020:

  • The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury has lifted the parish’s mandatory evacuation. The curfew remains in effect from 7 p.m. – 6 a.m. daily. For more on what the lifting of the curfew means to residents, visit www.calcasieuparish.gov.
  • The Parish Pick-Up Point operations at Chennault International Airport, 364 Mallard Cove St., Lake Charles, have been extended until Sunday, Sept. 20. Residents who need transportation to evacuate can still call 911 and they will be brought to this location, but now 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. For residents who need transportation to the comfort station, 911 will dispatch Parish Paratransit to pick them up. 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 6 p.m.- 8 a.m. at the site.
  • Calcasieu Parish residential garbage collection routes are on schedule but there is still a tremendous volume of waste - trucks are picking up two-to-three times more garbage than usual. Waste Management is only accepting household trash. 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 437-3550.
  • The Residential Solid Waste Convenience Centers in Lake Charles and Sulphur are closed until further notice.
  • The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Division of Planning and Development has issued 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-Friday. 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 hand to answer any questions about repairs and reconstruction of commercial facilities. For more information, call 337-721-3600 or 337-721-3610 or email planning@calcasieuparish.gov.
  • Due to the power outage caused by Hurricane Laura, Sewer District No. 11 of Wards 3 and 8 (Mallard Junction) asks its customers to minimize water consumption until electricity is restored. The district is operating a low-pressure sewer system which requires electricity to power individual lift stations. Using excessive water will cause a sewer overflow. Call 337-721-3754 with questions.
  • The United Way of SWLA and the United Cajun Navy have opened a parish warehouse supply and food pickup location 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 has stabilized the mosquito outbreak and will continue spraying nightly using four planes and ten trucks. In the meantime, Mosquito Control recommends all residents to wear repellent at all times when outdoors.
  • 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. 21.
  • 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 is starting its new program to help homes destroyed or hit with major damage from Hurricane Laura. The program will give $450 to each home 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.
  • The Red Cross has disaster supply and food sites at the following locations: McMurry Park, 300 S Hazel St., Sulphur; Power Centre, 3009 Gerstner Memorial Drive; Enos Derbonne Sports Complex, 7903 Lake St. Charles; 2000 Moeling St., Lake Charles; Market Basket, 935 Third Avenue in Lake Charles; 203 Grand Ave., DeQuincy; Iowa KC Hall, 503 US-90, Iowa; and Vinton Middle School, 900 Horridge St. in Vinton. 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 – at noon and 5 p.m. Also, there will be a large supply drop from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Sept. 9-10 at the Greater St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church, 1801 Second Ave. They will be handing out cleaning supplies and MREs. Volunteers needed. For a full list of feeding sites and for information on services, visit @ARCLouisiana on Twitter or at Facebook.com/ARCLouisiana
  • The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury has issued a burn ban because of 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.
  • Calcasieu Parish Animal Services and Adoption’s dispatch line is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Staff is currently reuniting animals with their families. If you know an animal is missing or believe it is at the facility, check www.petharbor.com. The website will have information and pictures of each animal within our facility. If you suspect one of the animals on the website is your pet, call the shelter’s temporary number at 337-853-9573, to talk to a staff member. The facility is open from 1-3 p.m. by appointment only. If you see any animals in distress, call 337-853-9573. The center is posting regular updates on its Facebook Page, “Calcasieu Parish ASA.”
  • Water service has been restored for many residents in the parish. Please contact your water system provider should you suspect a leak or other damage to your water system. Remember that all residents except Westlake customers are under a boil advisory until it is safe for those advisories to be lifted. Also, residents are asked to conserve water while issues are being repaired.
  • FEMA has released guidance on chainsaw and generator reimbursement. Visit this link for that information:https://www.calcasieuparish.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=9833
  • FEMA has opened a drive-thru document drop-off site for residents at the Calcasieu Parish School Board, 3310 Broad St. It will be open seven days a week, 7 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • To register for FEMA federal disaster assistance, call 1-800-621-3362 or register online at disasterassistance.gov. The deadline to apply is Oct. 27. So far, a total of 78,854 residents have registered for disaster assistance and $71.4 million has been given for individual housing. For some common reasons why you may have been denied by FEMA and some tips to get you back on track, visit https://www.calcasieuparish.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=9827. Visit https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4559 to get all your FEMA questions answered.
  • Road conditions are improving, but hazards are still present in many locations. Officials say the large amount of traffic on the roads is hampering recovery efforts. Traffic signals are being powered by generator at some major intersections, but many are still not working. When driving, treat every intersection as a four-way stop. Public Works has replaced all traffic signs at major parish intersections. If you see one missing, call 721-3700.
  • Officials are urging residents to practice generator safety. The parish has now reported seven deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the past week. Make sure generators are installed correctly and never operate them in enclosed spaces. When operating a generator, homeowners should not install generators directly into the home’s electrical panel. Back feeding electrical power from a generator into power lines can be deadly to linemen and others working to restore power while working on downed electrical lines.
  • A “Keep Calm Line” has been established to connect residents to resources when dealing with their stress and mental health: 1-866-310-7977.
  • The parish is now collecting storm debris. Debris trucks have long reach arms so residents do not have 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. Trucks will be doing multiple passes over the next several weeks. Visit the Hurricane Laura Emergency Information Page at calcasieuparish.gov for a graphic and video explaining the separation process.
  • 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 without electricity for weeks. Officials are asking residents who do not have power to make sure their breakers are turned off. Entergy has so far restored electric to 45 percent of its customers in Calcasieu. In Calcasieu, BECi has restored power to 2,108 customers; a total of 10,294 customers are without power. For Jeff Davis Electric updates, visit www.facebook.com/JEFFDAVISELECTRICCOOP/
  • Suddenlink officials said they have completed assessment of more than 94 percent of the market, and much of the company’s telecommunications infrastructure was damaged or destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. The first step has been working on the major fiber interconnects that run in and out of the city, since they feed critical infrastructure like towers, hospitals, emergency services, etc. Suddenlink is identifying areas that have limited damage where they can deploy generators to supply the power needed to restore service. Crews are also in various neighborhoods restoring infrastructure through contractors. Hundreds of employees on the ground each day are working to restore service. There is a WiFi hotspot at the Suddenlink Retail Store at 1538 East Prien Lake Road.
  • 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. 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 will be closed - and all meetings are cancelled - until further notice.

The next parish briefing will be at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16.

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