WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Links Links en-us Copyright 2016, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 29 Sep 2016 13:09:57 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Metro Council approves temporary voting locations http://www.wbrz.com/news/metro-council-approves-temporary-voting-locations/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/metro-council-approves-temporary-voting-locations/ Links Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:51:47 AM Kevin Dupuy Metro Council approves temporary voting locations

BATON ROUGE – The East Baton Rouge Metro Council approved temporary voting location changes for November’s election.

The proposal consolidates polling locations after last month’s historic flooding and will affect more than 34,000 East Baton Rouge Parish voters.

To view a list of the proposed temporary locations, click here.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters says workers with the Clerk of Court’s office will be on hand to assist residents at the combined polling locations. Each location will have two lines to ensure that residents are voting in the correct precincts.

Voters can also skip the lines on election day by taking advantage of early voting.

Residents have until Oct. 11 to make permanent changes to their voting addresses, state officials say. Displaced residents who are planning on returning to their home to not need to update their addresses.

The changes will only affect the Nov 8 election day. The Metro Council will have to approve the new locations for the December run-off election.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
State returns nearly $70K in unclaimed funds to flood victim http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-returns-nearly-70k-in-unclaimed-funds-to-flood-victim/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/state-returns-nearly-70k-in-unclaimed-funds-to-flood-victim/ Links Fri, 16 Sep 2016 1:10:53 PM AP News State returns nearly $70K in unclaimed funds to flood victim

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of the Treasury's Unclaimed Property program has returned nearly $70,000 to a resident affected by last month's flooding.

Treasurer John Kennedy, in a news release Wednesday, said a woman found $34,000 of her own money and another $35,000 in cash and stock from her late mother's estate.

In all, the department says it returned about $176,000 to Louisianians who stopped by Saturday's event at the Mall of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

Unclaimed property includes old bank accounts, insurance proceeds, utility deposits and other lost money sources.

The program has returned more than $407 million to almost 630,000 residents since 1972.

Residents can search for missing money online at www.LATreasury.com or call the department's toll-free hotline at 1-888-925-4127 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Residents in Denham Springs urged to double check rebuilding permits http://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-in-denham-springs-urged-to-double-check-rebuilding-permits-88014/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-in-denham-springs-urged-to-double-check-rebuilding-permits-88014/ Links Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:20:32 AM Chris Nakamoto Residents in Denham Springs urged to double check rebuilding permits

DENHAM SPRINGS- If you live in the city limits of Denham Springs and were issued a building permit by the parish, you need to stop work immediately until you get the proper permit from the city.

If you don't, it could affect your wallet. City leaders say if you don't rebuild according to ordinances where you live, it might make you ineligible if there are federal programs down the road for elevation projects or more.

Alayna Welch spent a good portion of her Wednesday morning waiting in line trying to get a permit to rebuild the home she's lived in for the past decade. Her Denham Springs neighborhood is a waste land. Flies swarm her street as animals try to eat up spoiled food. Most people here lost everything. Welch's home took on more than six feet of water. Tonight, she's worried it will likely have to be elevated.

"No straight answers, yes or no," Welch said.

Welch is among the thousands of residents inside the city limits of Denham Springs who flooded. She's now trying to recover, but isn't sure if she can. Now, there are new concerns. People who received permits to to rebuild need to give them a closer look. That's because they may have been issued by the wrong government agency.

"Livingston Parish utilized some volunteers outside the state," Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry said. "Tennessee or Kentucky that came in to help them issue permits in the parish and some of the folks crossed over into the city limits, which were issued permits from the parish which are not valid here."

The City of Denham Springs estimates at least 30 homeowners received those bad permits from the parish when those out of town inspectors came in and issued them. They are urging everyone to go to the city, request new permits, so there are no issues if federal inspectors come in and check your work.

One of the biggest questions Mayor Landry gets is whether people need to elevate. He told us today he can't get straight answers from FEMA.

"Personally, I'd say clean up your house, make sure it's clean and there's no mold," Landry said. "Get into your home and start enjoying life. We've already been through this devastating flood. This whole process could take years, let's enjoy every day."

But for many residents that's taking too much of a risk. They don't know if they rebuild if they'll be asked to elevate. For people like Welch, she doesn't have the cash to get that done.

"Just trying to figure out if i should stay or go, rebuild or if they will push me out of my home," Welch said.

Mayor Landry says, having people get new permits will protect the property owners in the future. His office will re-issue those permits to the affected homeowners when they come in. He says 90-percent of the city's structures flooded.

For more information, please visit us in person at Old City Hall, 115 Mattie St., Denham Springs; call (225) 667-7512 or visit  www.cityofdenhamsprings.com


Permalink| Comments


]]>
New temporary debris site opens in East Baton Rouge Parish http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-temporary-debris-site-opens-in-east-baton-rouge-parish/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/new-temporary-debris-site-opens-in-east-baton-rouge-parish/ Links Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:38:28 AM Kevin Dupuy New temporary debris site opens in East Baton Rouge Parish

BATON ROUGE – All East Baton Rouge Parish residents should expect to see their 'first pass' of debris cleanup within the next 10 days, parish officials said Thursday.

Officials gave the first in a series of daily updates of debris removal efforts after last month’s historic flooding Thursday morning.

“We know that the quicker we can get to you and your homes and collect your debris, the sooner you can start the process of recovery,” Director of Environmental Services, Karen Khonsari, said. “Please know that we are doing everything that we can with the resources at our disposal to do just that.”

Khonsari was joined by representatives for two contractors that will be collecting and monitoring the debris: DRC Emergency Services and Thompson Consulting.

Starting Monday, Sept. 19, debris collection crews will be able to come up to 30 feet from the road to collect debris, according to Khonsari.

Residents must sign up for the program before crews can enter the property. Residents will have to execute a writ of entry agreement. More information on how to do that will be released later Thursday.

As of Wednesday, parish officials have been authorized to open a second debris staging site at 15400 Old Perkins Road West. The site will operate similarly to the other temporary debris site located off of Sherwood and Choctaw. 

All debris at the Perkins Road West site will be compacted and hauled to another landfill within 90 days. That site must also comply with LADEQ environmental requirements.

Crews have removed 750,000 cubic yards of debris, collecting on average between 35,000 – 45,000 cubic yards of debris a day. Those trucks are working daily.

The spokesperson for Thompson Consulting said 189 trucks are working throughout the area collecting debris. More than 170 inspectors are following those crews documenting their work for FEMA.

Residents that have not seen a debris truck pass by their homes yet can expect to see crews within the next 10 days. More debris trucks are being added.

Anyone with questions are asked to contact 888-721-4372. Residents can also view an interactive map of where debris pickup efforts are at by clicking here.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
What does substantial damage mean? http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-does-substantial-damage-mean-/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/what-does-substantial-damage-mean-/ Links Wed, 7 Sep 2016 5:54:53 PM Kevin Dupuy What does substantial damage mean?

BATON ROUGE – As communities across South Louisiana continue to rebuild their lives after historic flooding, FEMA says many could face the issue of “substantial damage,” as defined by the National Flood Insurance Program.

According to FEMA, ‘substantial damage’ is a specific term applied to a damaged building in a floodplain in which total cost of repairs is 50 percent or more of the building’s market value before a disaster.

If a building’s market value before the flooding was $200,000 and repairs will cost $120,000, the structure is considered ‘substantially damaged.’ (Land value is excluded from the calculations).

FEMA says it’s important to know the percentage of structural damage your property suffered. That information helps homeowners decide whether the home will require additional work, like elevating, to meet local codes and ordinances.

Owners who decide to rebuild may need to elevate their structures, or change them in some other way to comply with those local floodplain regulations and avoid future flood losses.

Owners of non-residential structures may need to flood proof their buildings.

FEMA said determining whether or not a building is ‘substantially damaged’ is decided on the local government level by a building official or floodplain manager.

Substantial damage determinations are required by local floodplain management ordinances. Those ordinances must be in place for residents to purchase flood insurance.

Residents are urged to contact their local building official for more specific information about substantial damage determination for their property.

FEMA says all property owners should check with local officials to determine if they need to get permits to begin repairing their homes. There can be serious consequences for not complying with the permit process.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Metro Council discusses debris removal, votes on elevation requirements http://www.wbrz.com/news/metro-council-discusses-debris-removal-votes-on-elevation-requirements/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/metro-council-discusses-debris-removal-votes-on-elevation-requirements/ Links Wed, 7 Sep 2016 4:56:17 PM Kevin Dupuy Metro Council discusses debris removal, votes on elevation requirements

BATON ROUGE – The East Baton Rouge Metro Council hosted a special meeting Wednesday evening at City Hall in downtown Baton Rouge to discuss parish elevation requirements after last month’s historic flooding.

The council voted to raise "substantial damage" to 50 percent of the homes value for those living in "A flood zones" and ignore base flood level from the August 2016 flood, according to the Mayor's CAO.

The council voted to strike certain requirements that would require residents to elevate their homes after devastating flooding. The vote will remove a section of the law that requires homes to be built one foot above the record flood event for a neighborhood.

Local officials also addressed the ongoing debris removal process. Debris removal contractors have received permission from FEMA to collect debris up to 30 feet from the curb on private properties. Those contractors have been in contact with the Mayor-President's office updating debris removal efforts.

Contractors say they are finding double the FEMA estimate of debris at some homes. One contractor estimated that debris totals will be four times what was originally projected, at more than 1 million total cubic yards.

Contractors are also working with parish school officials to avoid interfering with school bus traffic.

Mayor President Kip Holden's office is working with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to start "nighttime hauling" from the Sherwood temporary debris site to a landfill. Officials say the Sherwood site should remain open for at least 90 days.

Councilman John Delgado said he hopes their will be some federal assistance in the near future to help in this difficult time.

"This is a tragedy of epic proportions it's something that we've never experienced, never anticipated experiencing in Baton Rouge. I'm hoping that ultimately there will be  some federal help down the road, but i know there's going to be a lot of people that will be hurting for a long time after this, my heart goes out to them."


Permalink| Comments


]]>
FAQ: Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter http://www.wbrz.com/news/faq-understanding-your-fema-determination-letter/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/faq-understanding-your-fema-determination-letter/ Links Wed, 7 Sep 2016 10:35:57 AM FEMA FAQ: Understanding Your FEMA Determination Letter

Q: My FEMA determination letter says that my application for disaster assistance is “ineligible” or “incomplete.” What can I do?

A: All disaster assistance applicants have the right to appeal, and sometimes a quick fix is all that is needed to change a “no” to a “yes.” Read your letter all the way through to clarify why your application was labeled “ineligible” or “incomplete.” Always be sure to follow up—do not just give up—with the determination letter.

Q: I want to appeal my determination letter. How can I go about doing that?

A: All appeals must be in writing. When writing your appeal, explain why you think the decision about the amount or type of assistance you received is not correct. You, or someone who represents you or your household, must sign the letter. If the person writing the letter is not a member of your household, there must be a signed statement from you saying that that person may act for you and your household.

Q: What do I do with my written appeal and my other appeal documents?

A: Bring your determination letter, your written appeal and the supporting documents requested in your determination letter to any disaster recovery center. You can locate a disaster recovery center near you by visiting fema.gov/disaster-recovery-centers, calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362, or downloading the FEMA mobile app.

Q: I cannot make it to a disaster recovery center. Can I still appeal my determination letter?

A: Yes. You can mail your written appeal and all supporting documents to:

                                                            FEMA – Individuals and Households Program
                                                            National Processing Service Center
                                                            P.O. Box 10055
                                                            Hyattsville, MD 20782-7055

You can also fax your appeal packet to 800-827-8112, to the attention of the Individuals and Households Program. When mailing or faxing your appeal packet, be sure to include your personal FEMA registration number and the disaster number, DR-4277-LA, on all of your documents.

Q: Can I email my appeal packet to FEMA?

A: No. FEMA cannot process your appeal via email, but you can submit it on our website. If you would like to go through the appeal process electronically, you can open a Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) account at www.disasterassistance.gov. Once you have created your account, you can update your current contact information, upload your appeal documents, and review letters from FEMA. When you upload the required documents to your DAC account, an appeal packet is automatically created which can then be submitted for review.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Attorney General warns of mold-free certificate http://www.wbrz.com/news/attorney-general-warns-of-mold-free-certificate/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/attorney-general-warns-of-mold-free-certificate/ Links Thu, 1 Sep 2016 2:30:15 PM ApNewsNow Attorney General warns of mold-free certificate

BATON ROUGE – Attorney General Jeff Landry is warning residents to beware of so-called “mold certificates” as recovery begins after August’s historic flooding.

Landry said “there is no such thing as a government required ‘mold-free’ certificate.” He is also urging residents to only hire contractors with the necessary skills, licenses and insurance to legally do mold remediation work.

General Landry also offers the following tips to protect consumers and their wallets:

  • Make sure the contractor is licensed through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.
  • Get at least three itemized and detailed bids.
  • Take a selfie with your contractor and photograph his/her vehicle and its license plate.
  • Require the contractor to show proof of insurance, such as workman’s compensation and general liability, and call that insurer to confirm coverage.
  • Always get a guarantee and a contract in writing.
  • Pay by check or money order and keep all receipts.

To report a scam, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
DSNAP resources now available online http://www.wbrz.com/news/dsnap-resources-now-available-online/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/dsnap-resources-now-available-online/ Links Thu, 1 Sep 2016 1:31:43 PM Kevin Dupuy DSNAP resources now available online

BATON ROUGE – State officials have created a disaster resource page that includes a news center, fact sheets and other downloadable information about the DSNAP program.

The disaster resource page can be found at the Department of Children and Family Services website.

According to DCFS, the webpage also includes a frequently asked questions section with answers in both English and Spanish.

Examples of the FAQs included:

What is considered when calculating an applicant's DSNAP eligibility?

  • Take-home pay that has been received or is expected to be received for the time period of Aug. 10 - Sept. 8, 2016.
  • PLUS all available cash resources - cash on hand, checking and savings account balances.
  • MINUS total dollar amount of money spent or expected to be spent on any disaster-related expense for the time period of Aug. 10 - Sept. 8, 2016.

What do I need to bring to the DSNAP site?

  • A form of identification, plus the social security number(s), and date(s) of birth for each household member
  • Address and proof of residency and as of Aug. 10, 2016
  • Monthly income for each household member- If you have check stubs, you can bring those.
  • All liquid assets for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings) - If you have bank statements bring those.
  • Amount of disaster-related expenses you incurred during the disaster period.

I cannot make it the day designated for my last name, what do I do?

  • There are two days for each letter of the alphabet. If you cannot make either day, you may send an Authorized Representative to the DSNAP site on your behalf. Authorized Representatives must bring with them to the DSNAP site a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household along with a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative and to make an application on their household's behalf.

Permalink| Comments


]]>
IRS to grant access to retirement accounts for flood relief http://www.wbrz.com/news/irs-to-grant-access-to-retirement-accounts-for-flood-relief/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/irs-to-grant-access-to-retirement-accounts-for-flood-relief/ Links Tue, 30 Aug 2016 2:37:31 PM Brock Sues IRS to grant access to retirement accounts for flood relief

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service announced Tuesday that it will grant the regulatory waiver requested by Sen. Bill Cassidy that will allow those impacted by the flood early access to retirement funds without penalty.

“This hardship waiver will be critical for helping Louisianans get back on their feet quickly,” Cassidy said. “As so many of those affected in this area did not have flood insurance, every tool possible needs to be implemented to allow them access to much needed emergency funds.”

According to Sen. Cassidy’s office, the hardship waiver will be in effect until Jan. 17, 2017 in order to allow flood victims access to emergency funds to account for recent losses.

Cassidy’s letter to the IRS urges the agency to allow flood victims to access their retirement funds quickly “without bureaucratic red-tape hurdles.” The letter says the funds would include, but not be limited to, streamlined loan procedures for liberalized hardship distribution waivers for 401(k) plan participants, employees of public schools and tax-exempt organizations with 403(b) tax-sheltered annuities, and state and local government employees with 457 deferred-compensation plans.

Sen. Cassidy points out that similar regulatory waivers were afforded to individuals in the wakes of Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. The Senator calls the measure a “basic relief tool that is immediately needed during the recovery from recent flooding in Louisiana.”

The full text of Cassidy’s letter is here. The full announcement from the IRS can be read here.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Tips to avoid scams as recovery begins http://www.wbrz.com/news/tips-to-avoid-scams-as-recovery-begins/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/tips-to-avoid-scams-as-recovery-begins/ Links Sun, 28 Aug 2016 8:59:29 PM Kevin Dupuy Tips to avoid scams as recovery begins

BATON ROUGE – Emergency officials are warning residents to be aware of multiple scams that are surfacing as recovery from the historic flooding begins.

In a Sunday evening press release, FEMA offered tips to avoid scams as the many residents begin to rebuild their flooded homes.

FEMA says residents should never offer personal financial information over the phone. Residents should not be shy about asking for identification to know who you are working with.

Government workers will never ask for a fee or payment and will always wear official government photo IDs.

Homeowners and registered FEMA applicants should be aware for housing inspectors claiming to represent FEMA or the SBA. Official FEMA inspectors will never ask for an applicant’s 9-digit registration number.

FEMA inspectors also do not hire or endorse specific contractors to fix homes or recommend repairs. They also do not determine eligibility for assistance.

 

Keep these consumer safety tips in mind when working with contractors:

  • Verify the license or registration number with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors at lacontractor.orgor call 800-256-1392.
  • Get three written estimates for repair work. Then check credentials and contact your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce to learn about any complaints against the contractor or business.
  • Before work begins, make sure you get a written contract detailing all the work to be performed, the costs, a projected completion date, and how to negotiate changes and settle disputes.
  • Louisiana, Attorney General Jeff Landry encourages you to use the following tips:
    • Take a picture of your contractor, his/her vehicle, and its license plate.
    • Take a picture of the contractor’s business card and his/her driver’s license.
    • Photograph or scan his/her contracting license and insurance.
    • Photograph or scan the contract made with him/her.
    • Photograph or scan all checks and money orders made as payments to the contractor.
    • Preserve all these photographs by emailing them to yourself and a trusted companion and/or by saving them in a cloud-based application.
  • If you suspect anyone – an inspector, disaster survivor, or someone posing as one of these – of fraudulent activities, call the FEMA toll-free Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or your local law enforcement officials.
  • To report a scam or sign up for consumer alerts, call Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889 or visitAGJeffLandry.com.

Review the Federal Trade Commission warning at FTC alert and its information on Charity Scams.

  • Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software up-to-date.
  • Check this Better Business Bureau (BBB) list for helping Louisiana flood victimsbefore making any donations to this cause.
  • Verify the legitimacy of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a trusted contact number. You can find trusted contact information for many charities on the BBB National Charity Report Index.

There is no fee to apply for FEMA disaster assistance or to receive it. The only ways to register for FEMA help are to:

 


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Livingston Parish schools return Sept. 12 http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-schools-return-sept-12/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-schools-return-sept-12/ Links Fri, 26 Aug 2016 3:35:19 PM Kevin Dupuy Livingston Parish schools return Sept. 12

LIVINGSTON - All students will return to classes in Livingston Parish on Monday, Sept. 12, according Superintendent Rick Wentzel.

“We are pleased to announce that all Livingston Parish Schools will be starting together, so we can begin the healing process and moving forward as one system,” Wentzel said.

Wentzel said most students will report to their regular school campuses that Monday, but some middle and high school students will be platooned to nearby campuses. Some elementary school students will be assigned different campuses determined by transportation routes.

All parents are asked to complete an online survey to help identify the location and transportation needs of each student. The survey can be found on the Livingston Parish School’s website or on their Facebook or Twitter pages.

School administrative staff will return to work next Monday, Aug. 29. Parents can also begin contacting their schools at the same school telephone number to provide changes in address information that may impact a student’s assignment.

Other employees will report back to work on Sept. 6. Each school will hold a welcome back event for their students and parents prior to the start of class on Sept. 12.

Elementary students who will be temporarily relocated to other campuses will not be platooned, but will attend during regular hours of the school where they are assigned. 

Students from the following schools will be assigned based upon district transportation routes and where the students are currently residing: 

  • Denham Springs Elementary
  • Freshwater Elementary
  • Lewis Vincent Elementary
  • Northside Elementary
  • Seventh Ward Elementary
  • Southside Elementary 

The following schools will be platooned to other campuses, but their schedules are still being finalized and will be announced next week:

  • Denham Springs High School located to Live Oak High School
  • Denham Springs Freshman High located to Live Oak Middle School
  • Southside Junior High located Juban Parc Junior High School
  • Springfield High School located to Springfield Middle School

The school system is receiving donated goods and services to assist in its restart effort.   Donations can be made through a newly created fund at friends@lpsb.org or through the Assess the Need campaign, at www.assesstheneed.com.

Fifteen schools were impacted by water, eight were damaged "pretty bad," Wentzel said.  The most severely damaged schools were flooded with either four to eight feet of water and schools in the Denham Springs district were damaged the most.

"[Schools in Denham Springs] took the biggest hit," Wentzel said.  Though, Springfield High School near the Tangipahoa-Livingston Parish line was flooded with "a lot of water."


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Two more days for DSNAP phase 2 applications http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-more-days-for-dsnap-phase-2-applications/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-more-days-for-dsnap-phase-2-applications/ Links Thu, 25 Aug 2016 3:43:13 PM Alicia Serrano Two more days for DSNAP phase 2 applications

BATON ROUGE – State officials anncouned locations for Phase 2 of DSNAP application process for residents impacted by last week's historic flooding. 

Phase 2 includes sites in Acadia, Ascension, East Baton Rouge and Lafayette parishes starting next week. Applications will be accepted at the DSNAP sites starting Monday, Aug. 29, through Saturday, Sept. 3, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the following parishes:

Acadia Parish
City of Rayne Civic Center, 300 Frog Festival Drive, Rayne

Ascension Parish
Lamar Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Avenue, Gonzales

East Baton Rouge Parish
Council on Aging Capital City Event Center, 6955 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge
F. G. Clark Activity Center, 798 Harding Blvd, Baton Rouge
Gloryland Baptist Church, 6745 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge
Louisiana Leadership Institute, 5763 Hooper Road, Baton Rouge

Lafayette Parish
Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston Street, Lafayette

To minimize wait times, applicants and anyone who pre-registered for benefits must go to the DSNAP location on the day indicated by the first letter of their last name.

Monday, Aug. 29: A-D
Tuesday, Aug. 30: E-K
Wednesday, Aug. 31: L-R
Thursday, Sept. 1: S-Z
Friday, Sept. 2: A-K applicants unable to make prior scheduled day
Saturday, Sept. 3: L-Z applicants unable to make prior scheduled day

Residents are encouraged to preregister for DSNAP online at www.dcfs.la.gov/preregister or by phone at 1-888-LAHELP-U (1-888-524-3578) before visiting a DSNAP location. Pre-registration is not a DSNAP application, but helps to expedite the time spent at a DSNAP site.

Applicants must bring a picture ID and the picture ID of the applicant/head of household they represent. They will also need a signed statement from the applicant/head of household or an adult household member authorizing them as a representative who can apply on their household's behalf.

In the first three days of the first phase, DCFS served 22,964 households spanning eight parishes and approved $9.4 million in disaster benefits.
The third phase of DSNAP is set to begin on Tuesday, September 6th for all other DSNAP approved parishes.
For more information about DSNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Head to brunch on Sunday to support BR flood victims http://www.wbrz.com/news/head-to-brunch-on-sunday-to-support-br-flood-victims/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/head-to-brunch-on-sunday-to-support-br-flood-victims/ Links Fri, 26 Aug 2016 11:17:31 AM Brock Sues Head to brunch on Sunday to support BR flood victims

BATON ROUGE - Area restaurants will be participating in another drive to help the community with this Sunday’s “Brunching for Greater Baton Rouge” event.

Participating restaurants will donate 15 percent of the money they take in during brunch on Sunday, Aug. 28 to help benefit victims of recent catastrophic flooding. Attendees are also encouraged to bring school supplies, uniforms and other shelter items that can be donated to flood victims.

Participating restaurants include:

The Overpass Merchant (opens at 11am)
Mason's Grill (opens at 11am)
Tio Javi's (opens at 11am)
Table Kitchen and Bar (opens at 11am)
Canefield Tavern (opens at 8am)
City Cafe (opens at 10am)
Mestizo (opens at 11am)
Lasseigne's American Grill (opens at 11am)
City Pork Brasserie & Bar (opens at 11am)
Simple Joe (opens at 8am)
The Londoner (opens at 11am)
Jolie Pearl Oyster Bar (opens at 11am)
Galatoire's Bistro (opens at 11am)
Stroubes (Dinner)
Capital City Grill Downtown
City Pork Deli & Charcuterie (opens at 9am)
Sammy's Grill on Highland (opens at 10:30am)
Bistro Byronz (both locations open at 11am)
Louie's Cafe (6am-2pm)
Breck's Bistro and Pasta Bar (opens at 11am)
Ambrosia Bakery (deli opens at 7am)
Willie's Restaurant (Saturday Brunch on August 27th)
Boil and Roux (opens at 11am)
Burgersmith (Siegen and Perkins open at 11am)
Monjunis (Jefferson Hwy opens at 11am)
Epic Buffet at Hollywood Casino (opens at 11am)
Velvet Cactus (opens at 11am)
Olive or Twist (Saturday Brunch opening at 11am)

Info for restaurants:

Checks can be mailed to:

Baton Rouge Area Foundation
100 North Street, Suite 900
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Be sure to include Flood Relief Fund and the name of the restaurant on the check or attached letter. Also, use #BFGBR to help spread the word about the event! Email your restaurant’s amount to batonrougebrunch@gmail.com so the money can be tallied and announced online.

Amazon School Wish Lists:

https://brbrunches.com/2016/08/25/brunching-for-greater-baton-rouge-amazon-school-supplies-wish-lists/


Permalink| Comments


]]>
WATCH: What you need to know when repairing your home http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-what-you-need-to-know-when-repairing-your-home/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/watch-what-you-need-to-know-when-repairing-your-home/ Links Wed, 24 Aug 2016 5:55:46 PM Mark Armstrong WATCH: What you need to know when repairing your home

DENHAM SPRINGS - Rick Foster, a building official for Denham Springs, took WBRZ News 2 cameras on a tour of his flood damaged home to explain what residents need to know when repairing their homes.

Watch the video above for Foster's full explanation, but here are a few important points:

-Check with building permit officials to make sure your house does not require elevating due to updated flood regulations.

-After removing wet materials, give your house time to fully dry before replacing drywall or flooring. This could take a week.

-Use non-phosphates cleaning materials on all surfaces to fight mold, then have a certified inspector check the home.

-Power companies are in the process of restoring power. Power outlets that went under water should be replaced.

-Have certified inspectors check air conditioning units and other electrical components in the house.

-Gas meters should remain off until the utility company turns them back on.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Ascension Parish releases plan to accommodate students affected by flooding http://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-releases-plan-to-accommodate-students-affected-by-flooding/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ascension-parish-releases-plan-to-accommodate-students-affected-by-flooding/ Links Wed, 24 Aug 2016 4:23:32 PM Brock Sues Ascension Parish releases plan to accommodate students affected by flooding

ASCENSION PARISH - Ascension Parish Public Schools released their temporary education plan for schools that are currently under remediation due to flood waters so that students can continue their education at alternate locations.

The plan is available in detail at www.apsb.org/page/flood-recovery-temporary-education-plan.

Galvez Primary

-Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grades will attend at Lakeside Primary
-3rd, 4th & 5th Grades will attend at the former RPCC Hwy 22 Campus

Galvez Middle

-6th, 7th & 8th Grades will attend at Central Middle School

Lake Elementary

-Kindergarten, 1st & 2nd Grades will attend at Duplessis Primary
-3rd, 4th & 5th Grades will attend at the former RPCC Hwy 22 Campus
-6th, 7th & 8th Grades will attend at Prairieville Middle

St. Amant Primary

-Kindergarten, 1st &2nd Grades will attend at G.W. Carver Primary
-3rd, 4th & 5th Grades will attend at the former RPCC Hwy Campus

St. Amant High

-9th, 10th, 11th & 12th Grades will attend at Dutchtown High in a platoon format. STA students will have class from 12:30 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Dutchtown High School students will attend from 6:55 a.m. to 11:26 a.m. to accommodate St. Amant High students on its campus.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Contact info for replacing lost or damaged documents http://www.wbrz.com/news/contact-info-for-replacing-lost-or-damaged-documents/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/contact-info-for-replacing-lost-or-damaged-documents/ Links Wed, 24 Aug 2016 2:19:00 PM WBRZ Staff Contact info for replacing lost or damaged documents

BATON ROUGE - Many residents of the area may find they’ve had important documents destroyed or lost during the chaos that followed recent flooding. Below is a helpful contact info guide for securing new documentation:

SNAP Cards
(Food Stamps): Phone: 1-888-524-3578
Website: www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP

Green Cards
Phone: 800-375-5283
Website: https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/replace-green-card

Birth and Death Certificates
Phone: 225-342-9500
Website: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/635

Louisiana Driver’s Licenses
Phone: 888-214-5367
Website: http://omv.dps.state.la.us

Bank Checks, ATM/Debit Cards or Safe Deposit Boxes
Phone: 877-275-3342
Website: https://www.fdic.gov

Credit Cards – Contact the appropriate issuing institution:

American Express: 800-327-1267
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/content/help/lost-stolen-card.html 

Discover: 800-347-2683
https://www.discover.com/credit-cards/help-center

MasterCard: 800-627-8372
https://www.mastercard.us/en-us/consumers/get-support.html

Visa: 800-847-2911
https://usa.visa.com/support/consumer/lost-stolen-card.html

Credit Reports: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion
Phone: 877-322-8228
Website: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

Social Security Cards
Phone: 800-772-1213
Website: https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber

Fraud Alerts or a Credit Freeze
Website: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/security_freeze_louisiana.html

Other Support Resources

Identity Theft Resource Center
Phone: 888-400-5530
Website: http://www.idtheftcenter.org
Email: info@fightidentitytheft.com

Medicare Cards
Phone: 800-772-1213
Website: https://faq.ssa.gov/ics/support/kbanswer.asp?deptID=34019&task=knowledge&questionID=3708

Passports
Phone: 877-487-2778
Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/lost-stolen.html

U.S. Savings Bonds
Phone: 844-284-2676 (toll-free)
Website: https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/ebonds/res_e_bonds_eereplace.htm

Tax Returns
Phone: 800-829-1040
Website: https://www.irs.gov/uac/About-Form-4506T

Military Records
Phone: 866-272-6272
Website: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records

Insurance Documents
Phone: Check with your insurance agent.
Website: http://insurance.lawyers.com/natural-disasters/replacing-personal-documents-lost-in-a-disaster.html

Real Estate and Property Records (Mortgage Documents, Deeds, etc.)
Phone: Contact your agent.
Website: http://insurance.lawyers.com/natural-disasters/replacing-personal-documents-lost-in-a-disaster.html

Medical and Prescription Records
Call your doctor; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

Proof of Address/Residency
Contact your local utility company to obtain a recent bill.

National Archives Records
Phone: 866-272-6272
Website: General: http://www.archives.gov/preservation/records-emergency/public.html
Website: Saving family records: http://www.archives.gov/preservation/disasterresponse/guidelines.html

NOTE: FEMA nor News 2 endorse any specific products or services listed above.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
EBR students to return on Wednesday; some schools relocate http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-students-to-return-on-wednesday-some-schools-relocate/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-students-to-return-on-wednesday-some-schools-relocate/ Links Thu, 18 Aug 2016 5:21:11 PM Alicia Serrano EBR students to return on Wednesday; some schools relocate

BATON ROUGE – East Baton Rouge Parish superintendent and school officials gave an update on the status of multiple schools in the area on Thursday afternoon following the recent flooding.

Superintendent Warren Drake announced that East Baton Rouge parish students were to report to school on Wednesday, Aug. 24 and teachers were to return to work on Monday, Aug. 22. PreK and kindergarten students are to return on Monday, Aug. 29.

Drake said that currently one third of the East Baton Rouge school employees had been affected or displaced by the flooding. Drake went on to say that of the 77 school sites in the parish, 11 of those schools were impacted by flood water.

Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Northdale and Westdale Middle School have been repaired and will be ready to open next Wednesday.

However a handful of schools will be relocating as a result of damage. They are as follows:

Brookstown Middle to Scotlandville Middle Magnet

Park Forest Middle to Capitol Middle

Glen Oaks Park Elementary to Banks Elementary

Greenbrier Elementary to Progress Elementary

Park Forest Elementary to Eden Park Elementary

Howell Park Elementary to Claiborne Elementary

The superintendent urged for parents to not enroll their children in another school, rather to relocate to the above schools.

He said that with returning to school, transportation will be the greatest challenge as 40 to 50 percent of buses and bus drivers were impacted, but a spare fleet of buses will be used.

Drake stated that as parents notify schools of relocation, those routes will be added to the existing bus routes in order to get those students to and from school. According to Drake, athletics will resume to normal activities and two jamborees are scheduled for next Friday at Broadmoore High School and Woodlawn High School.

The superintendent reiterated throughout the press conference that he understands the tragedy that has struck the area, but school officials are working around the clock to get students back to normalcy as quickly as possible.

For information on East Baton Rouge schools visit ebrschools.org.


Permalink| Comments


]]>
Thousands without power as high water threatens equipment http://www.wbrz.com/news/thousands-without-power-as-high-water-threatens-equipment/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/thousands-without-power-as-high-water-threatens-equipment/ Links Mon, 15 Aug 2016 12:14:31 PM Kevin Dupuy Thousands without power as high water threatens equipment

BATON ROUGE – More 16,000 Entergy customers and 22,000 DEMCO meters are without power Monday as crews work across central Louisiana to restore power.

Entergy Louisiana crews expect to restore power to all customers that can accept it by Monday night, however floodwater is continuing to hinder restoration efforts to thousands of homes and businesses.

As of 6:40 p.m. on Monday, more than 16,000 customers were without power, down from more than 26,000 from Sunday night. Entergy has assembled a storm team of more than 500 and has about 12,500 more customers in need of restoration, however work in those areas cannot begin until floodwater recedes.

Those affected customers should prepare to be without power for an extended period, according to Entergy officials. The hardest hit areas by the severe weather and flooding are northern and eastern Livingston, Tangipahoa, Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes.

The vast majority of customers without power are concentrated in Livingston and East Baton Rouge parishes. As of 12 p.m., more than 6,300 customers in Livingston Parish are without power. More than 6,000 are without power in East Baton Rouge Parish.

"We continue monitoring areas where floodwaters may become an issue," said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of customer service in Louisiana. "Customers in areas inaccessible due to floodwaters will have to wait for waters to recede before we will be able to restore power," Dawsey said.

When returning to areas that have been flooded, customers should call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to request service reconnections.

The following ZIP codes have the most customers without power as of 12 p.m. Monday:

Denham Springs, 70726 – 5,506 customers

Baton Rouge, 70815 – 1,682 customers

Baton Rouge, 70816 – 1,467 customers

Prairieville, 70769 -1,318 customers

Baton Rouge, 70817 - 1,144 customers

More information, as well as a detailed map on all Entergy power outages can be found at the Entergy website HERE.

Customers are encouraged to download Entergy's mobile app to access maps and information. For real-time progress on restoration work see the View Outages feature at entergy.com. In addition, online services are available to customers through "Entergy Storm Center," and "myAccount." Through myAccount, customers can sign up to send and receive text information about power outages at their homes and businesses through their cellphones.

David Latona, a spokesperson for DEMCO, said more than 20,000 meters are without power through East Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, and East Feliciana parishes. 

Latona said that the bulk of the DEMCO outages happened after three company substations were "de-energized" due to rising flood water. DEMCO crews are now working around the clock to restore power to customers. Latona said customers should be patient as crews can not work in some areas due to high water.

A detailed map of all DEMCO power outages can be found at the DEMCO website. 

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to WBRZ News 2 online and on Facebook and Twitter for updates as more information becomes available.




Permalink| Comments


]]>
How to mark yourself SAFE on Facebook http://www.wbrz.com/news/how-to-mark-yourself-safe-on-facebook/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/how-to-mark-yourself-safe-on-facebook/ Links Mon, 15 Aug 2016 1:01:29 PM Kevin Dupuy How to mark yourself SAFE on Facebook

BATON ROUGE - Facebook users living in areas affected by the severe flooding can now let their loved ones know that they are safe.

The feature is only activated in serious events with possible loss of life. The safety check was activated during the Paris terror attacks as well as the Orlando nightclub massacre.

The safety check for the "Flooding in Louisiana" was activated Monday. Users living in the affected area can update their friends by clicking the "I'm Safe" button on the web page. After pushing the button, Facebook will notify the user's friends with a notification and timeline post that the user is safe.

The safety check also shows users a checklist of friends that may also be affected by the flooding. Users can see others who have marked themselves safe as well as ask other users if they are safe.

To mark yourself as SAFE click here.

With thousands of people in shelters, some residents are left wondering where members of their family are and hoping they're safe.

Due to the large number of requests we're receiving on social media, we've decided to compile missing persons requests online. You can find that list HERE.


Permalink| Comments


]]>