LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The City of Lake Charles has provided numerous updates for Friday, Sept. 18.
City Hall and Other City Services: On Monday, September 21, 2020, Lake Charles City Hall, will reopen with normal business hours, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 pm. Some services will remain limited as clean-up and recovery operations continue.
Transit services will remain suspended until further notice and recycling centers as well as the Roving Green Recycling Truck will also remain closed at this time.
All City of Lake Charles recreation facilities, including city parks, playgrounds, recreation centers and the I-10 North Beach, are closed to the public as damage assessments are still underway.
Mallard Cove Golf Course, 1911 Historic City Hall, Central School, the Lake Charles Civic Center and the Public Works Administration Building all will also remain closed.
The Water Billing Office will open in a temporary new location inside the City of Lake Charles Transit Building located at 1155 Ryan St. The hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The payment kiosk will remain located at 326 Pujo St. as well as the overnight drop box. Online bill payment for water service is available at www.cityoflakecharles.com, and payments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1727, Lake Charles, LA 70602. Automatic phone payments can be made by calling (877) 396-3915. Questions regarding water billing can be directed to 491-1307. Late fees are not being assessed at this time.
The Lake Charles Police Annex, where police reports are typically obtained from, was heavily damaged by Hurricane Laura, and will remained closed until further notice. All requests for reports should be directed to Lake Charles Police Headquarters by calling 491-1311.
In Case You Missed It:
Special Meeting of the Lake Charles City Council: The regular meeting of the Lake Charles City Council, originally scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, will not take place as originally scheduled due to Hurricane Laura. The City Council will now convene in a special meeting on Wednesday, September 23, at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at Lake Charles City Hall, 326 Pujo St.
Public Hearing: A public hearing was held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, in the City Council Chambers at Lake Charles City Hall, 326 Pujo St. The purpose of the hearing was to review the proposed budget for the City of Lake Charles for fiscal year 2020-2021.
Trash/Garbage: The City has resumed its normal collection routes for household waste only. If a resident’s garbage is not collected on their scheduled day, they should call 491-1346. Residents whose trash receptacle was lost or damaged during the storm can request a replacement by calling 491-1346.
Due to debris piles and low limbs, trucks may not be able to access every street. If you are able to, place your trash receptacle as close to the street as possible, away from debris piles, low-hanging limbs and power lines.
Lake Charles residents can still drop off spoiled goods and household waste at the following locations between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
· Grace & Medora Park: 2720 Medora St.
· Henry Heights Recreation Center: 801 East School St.
· Weaver Park Ballfields: 4436 Weaver Rd.
Storm debris contractors are currently collecting residential roadside debris. Residents should place debris as close to the roadside as possible without placing it in the roadway, ditches or in front of city drains and/or catch basins. Additionally, please do not place debris on or near fire hydrants.
Contractors cannot come onto private property to collect debris. It is extremely important that residents separate debris as described below to help expedite the pick-up process.
Vegetative debris, such as tree limbs, should be separated from other construction and demolition debris. White goods, such as refrigerators and freezers, should also be emptied out and secured shut before being placed roadside, separated from other debris piles. Debris removal contractors will not collect bagged household garbage. These items should be placed in a residential garbage can and placed roadside on your normal garbage collection day.
Debris removal contractors will make multiple passes throughout the city in the coming weeks.
Water and Wastewater Service: Residents are asked at this time not to run sprinkler systems or perform tasks such as watering their lawns. City of Lake Charles Water Division customers remain under a boil water advisory until further notice as water plants are running on generator power.
The City of Lake Charles reminds contractors that hooking into the city’s fire hydrants for water is not permissible.
City Wastewater Plants are currently operational, and generator power is being used to power more than 140 sewer lift stations citywide. The City of Lake Charles is asking residents not to turn off these generators during the overnight hours. We apologize for the inconvenience of the noise some of them make, but they are essential to the operation of our lift stations at this time. Turning them off could cause significant damage to the stations and negatively affect wastewater operations.
Crews are actively working to repair water leaks and broken lines on the city’s water lines into private property. If a resident is returning home and finds they do not have water or finds a notice that their water has been shut off at the meter, they should consult with a plumber to check for issues on the resident’s line. Once these repairs are made, the contracted plumber can turn the water back on at the water meter for the resident.
Citizens are asked to report water leaks, broken water lines or sewage issues by calling 491-1346 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Drainage: As clean-up operations continue, please do not place debris in or near drainage catch basins or in open ditches. Also, please do not blow lawn debris/grass clippings into the roadway as this can also make its way into the City’s drainage laterals. If you see debris blocking a drainage catch basin and can safely remove it, please do so. Otherwise, please call 491-1346 to report it.
Mayor’s Action Line: The Mayor’s Action Line is once again operational and accepting calls regarding pressing City issues. Residents may call 491-1346, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to speak with City personnel.
Permitting: Employees with the City of Lake Charles Permitting Center are now processing permit applications through www.mypermitnow.org. Staff members are also available to answer questions by phone at 491-1294, Monday through Friday.
The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has also established temporary occupancy and damage repair procedures in order to expedite safe occupancy and rebuilding. More information on those procedures can be found here: http://sfm.dps.louisiana.gov/doc/press/pr_2020-52.pdf.
Burn Ban: A burn ban remains in effect for Calcasieu and Cameron Parishes by order of the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal. The ban went into effect at 8 a.m., Monday, August 31, and will remain in effect until further notice.
Restoration of Electricity: As residents await power restoration to their homes, it is advised that the home’s main breaker be shut off until power is restored to their home.
If you see downed power lines, do not touch them. Call 1-800-Entergy to report the locations of the lines. Entergy customers are also encouraged to visit www.entergy.com/hurricanelaura/ for the latest on the company’s restoration efforts, for helpful information on electrical repairs at your home and for important information on what you need to do in order to make sure your home or business is ready to receive power.
Traffic Safety: Lake Charles Police are asking for the public’s assistance in limiting travel on city streets to essential business only at this time due to the large number of utilities, debris removal and other contractors performing recovery and clean-up operations in the city. All intersections should be treated as 4-way stops. Motorists are urged to use extreme caution when traveling through the city and to proceed with reduced speeds.
Price Gouging: Once a state of emergency is declared, a ban on price-gouging takes effect. If you suspect price gouging, contact Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Section at 800-351-4889. When calling, be sure to include the name and address of the merchant, as well as, the price and receipt of the item or service.
Hiring a Contractor: Residents are urged to use caution when hiring contractor for services. Before securing services, be sure to check the businesses profile at www.BBB.org. Ask for references and ask for multiple quotes. Request proof of licensure and liability insurance and never pay in full up front. Get all quotes in writing and stagger your payments so your final payment is not due until the work is complete. If you suspect fraudulent activity on the part of a contractor or other vendor, contact the Better Business Bureau of Southwest Louisiana at 337-478-6253 or call the National Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.
Contractors: Contractors wishing to do business within the City of Lake Charles and/or Calcasieu Parish are asked to register with Calcasieu Parish by calling 721-3800. A satellite registration office has been set up at Prien Lake Park as well.
Contacting the City of Lake Charles: For urgent needs such as reporting water leaks, broken lines, sewage issues, debris in the roadway, etc., residents are asked to call 491-1442. This call center is staffed seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additionally, as mentioned above, the Mayor’s Action Line can also be reached by calling 491-1346. Residents who are able to do so, should also stay tuned to www.cityoflakecharles.com and www.facebook.com/LakeCharlesLouisiana for important updates as they become available.