Calcasieu officials discuss debris, mosquitoes during hurricane recovery briefing

Calcasieu officials briefing on hurricane recovery - Oct. 21, 2020

Information from the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish officials gave several updates on Hurricane Laura/Delta recovery at a public briefing on Wednesday.

Calcasieu Parish Mosquito Control is getting some help in fighting the latest mosquito outbreak brought on by Hurricane Delta’s rainfall. Two U.S. Air Force C-130 “Hercules” aircraft will spray on Wednesday, Oct. 21, and Thursday, Oct. 22, in Calcasieu, starting at dusk - when mosquitos are most active.

Aerial application of insecticide is the most effective way to rapidly reduce the number of mosquitoes in a large area and does not present a risk to people, pets or other animals. Each C-130 can treat 120,000 acres in one mission.

Mosquito Control employees have also increased efforts to combat the current outbreak with two planes and ten trucks. They want to remind residents to keep their limbs covered and always use repellent when working or playing outdoors – day and night.

Also, the parish debris contractor now has 350 trucks out parishwide removing debris daily from the 1,200 miles of parish roads. Since Hurricane Laura – about 40 days - trucks have picked up an estimated 5.4 million cubic yards of debris.

The parish is about 70 percent through with the first phase of picking up debris – there is still about two weeks left in that phase. Phases 2 and 3 will also last about 60 days for each phase. To put it in perspective, it took debris contractors in Florida eight months to complete debris pickup after 2018′s Hurricane Michael – a Category 5 hurricane similar to Hurricane Laura.

Parish debris trucks have no set routes but they are all equipped with GPS and Public Works knows where they are, where they have been and where they still need to go. Also, the trucks are assigned certain types of debris – this is the reason you see trucks picking up some debris but not all of it. Trucks also have to make several trips to the landfills to unload.

Do not place debris in the ditches or block the roadways. To help expedite the process, 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 Emergency Information Page at calcasieuparish.gov for a graphic and video explaining the separation process.

Other updates:

  • Call Public Works at 721-3700 about debris piles that are blocking or causing road visibility issues.
  • The parish’s gravity drainage districts are working to clean debris out of parish drainage laterals and ditches. In addition, the parish is about to hire a firm to thoroughly assess the parish’s entire lateral system and clean them.
  • All National Guard food/supply distribution locations will be closed as of Wednesday Oct. 21, with two exceptions (These locations will close at the end of day Saturday, Oct. 24):
  • Memorial Park Plaza- 3009 Gerstner Memorial Parkway, Lake Charles
  • Washington-Marion Magnet School, 2802 Pineview St.
  • Residents can now apply for FEMA’s Individual Assistance for Hurricane Delta. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. To apply, visit www.disasterassistance.gov. You can also download the FEMA app or call 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) daily. You can call the FEMA Helpline and speak with a representative if you have any questions. Deadline to apply is Dec. 15.
  • The Division of Planning and Development’s temporary office is still operating 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/Delta recovery work. 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. Office hours are now 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday. For the remainder of the day on Saturdays and on Sundays, employees will continue to monitor the online self-service portal at www.calcasieuparish.gov/Permits and perform inspections; however there may be delays in response because of limited availability of staff. Residents can apply for and check the status of building permits online anytime at www.calcasieuparish.gov/Permits. 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 planning@calcasieuparish.gov.
  • Parish parks are open, but many will have limited facilities available. Visit calcasieuparish.gov for detailed information regarding what amenities are open for each park and/or boat launch. Currently all boat launches north of the Saltwater Barrier on the Calcasieu River and English Bayou are closed. No reservations are currently being taken.
  • Boat traffic on the Calcasieu River and English Bayou areas north of the Saltwater Barrier to the Calcasieu Parish line and on the West Fork of the Calcasieu River is still restricted to commercial and law enforcement vessels and boats.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reopened its Operation Blue Roof Program in Calcasieu Parish. Metal roofs are also eligible. To apply for this FREE service, call 1-888-ROOF-BLU or visit: usace.army.mil/blueroof// Deadline to apply is Oct. 24.
  • The parish evacuation plan for residents who need transportation to shelters has been reinstated. Residents may call 211 for shelter information or 911 if they cannot self-evacuate to the Burton Complex. Residents who can self-evacuate may drive to the Megashelter in Alexandria at 8125 Highway 71 South.
  • FEMA has both drive-thru services and walk-up operations.

Drive through facilities:

  • Lake Charles Civic Center.
  • Frasch Park, 400 Picard Road in Sulphur.

No appointment is necessary. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Walk-up facilities:

  • Huber Park Community Center, 24021 Fourth Ave. (14th Street entrance) in Lake Charles.
  • 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 coverings are required.

  • The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury’s Division of Planning and Development says residents in unincorporated areas of Calcasieu Parish need to obtain permits if their electrical service (e.g. the weather head) 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.
  • 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 always needed. To make a donation, visit https://unitedwayswla.org/donations to fill out an online form.
  • A Community Primary Care Clinic, staffed by LSU Family Medicine residency physicians, has opened at 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.
  • COVID-19 testing and other necessary vaccines (Tetanus, Hepatitis-A) are available 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Calcasieu Parish Health Unit, 3236 Kirkman St., Lake Charles. Flu shots are not yet available at this site but they may arrive next week. This is a drive-thru testing 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 call 211 for 24-hour crisis counseling.

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