Ascension Parish added to federal disaster area
BATON ROUGE – State officials announced Thursday that Ascension Parish has been added to the list of locations to receive federal disaster aid.
Governor John Bel Edwards asked President Barack Obama Wednesday to consider adding Allen, Ascension and Calcasieu parishes to areas receiving assistance. Edwards said floodwater has damaged more than 900 homes in those three parishes combined.
Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes were added to the designated FEMA disaster area last week.
By being added to Obama’s federal disaster declaration, residents and businesses in Ascension can receive assistance including debris removal and direct federal aid.
Ascension Parish Homeland Security officials are encouraging parish residents to be cautious of any FEMA related fraud and to report possible scams or identity thefts.
“I appreciate the prompt response from the White House on this matter,” Edwards said. “The safety and well-being of our people is my top priority. I will continue to personally see to it that our citizens have the resources they need to rebuild after this heartbreaking devastation.”
Ascension Parish officials will also begin collecting damage information and debris from residents following the cresting of Ascension Parish waterways and receding of high water. Parish President Kenny Matassa said that it is “imperative” for officials to receive all damage information and ask residents to report damages by calling the parish’s Emergency Operations Center at 225-621-8360.
Residents can also email a detailed description of damages including pictures, address and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Officials say residents who have flood insurance for their homes and do not need FEMA Public Assistance for damages should still contact the Emergency Operations Center to help construct parish recovery records.
According to Matassa, cleanup kits are available for residents the Galvez-Lake Fire Department at 16288 Joe Sevario Road in Prairieville. “Comfort” kits with essentials and toiletries will also be available at that fire station.
Parish officials will begin debris removal within the next week. Residents should divide debris into three section: vegetation, including limbs and branchs; construction and demolition debris, including drywall and carpet; and appliances.
Residents should place debris at the roadside and not in the way of traffic or ditches or near utility boxes and mailboxes. However, debris more than 10 feet from the curb or street will not be removed.
Debris removal crews will not collect hazardous materials including gas or propane.
Parish government will be closed Mar. 25 for Good Friday. It reopens the following Monday.