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FEMA money cleaning up Livingston Parish waterways

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SPRINGFIELD - Livingston Parish is putting nearly a million dollars from FEMA relief to work to clean several bodies of water across the parish.

The money comes from disaster relief for Hurricane Isaac that happened three years ago. The parish got $931,000 to remove debris and trash like household appliances from waterways. Contractors from a national company have been working in the parish for about a month to remove the debris. Tuesday contractors removed a sunken boat, a diesel engine and several household appliances.

"It's a navigation hazard. It's dangerous for anybody that's on the water. Eventually it's going to break lose and be floating in the water," said Obie Corley of Aftermath Disaster Recovery. "It causes problems. It needs to be cleaned up."

When the work is complete in a week or so, crews will have removed 8,240 cubic yards from Livingston Parish waterways. That's about two-and-a-half times the volume of an Olympic swimming pool.

"It's a significant amount for sure," said Corley. " It needs to be cleaned up. It affects the wildlife. It affects the people. We've got to get it out of here."

The crew has cleared debris and trash from nearly ten different bodies of water across the parish. Parish leaders have already outlined plans to spend another $400,000 to clean waterways with money from the BP oil spill settlement. However, there is no timetable for when that money will be available.

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