WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Storm resources Storm resources en-us Copyright 2021, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 2 Dec 2021 HH:12:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ https://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 City-Parish debris removal crews to make final pass by November 21 https://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-debris-removal-crews-to-make-final-pass-by-november-21/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-debris-removal-crews-to-make-final-pass-by-november-21/ Storm resources Wed, 17 Nov 2021 12:25:07 PM Paula Jones City-Parish debris removal crews to make final pass by November 21

BATON ROUGE - Remnants of Hurricane Ida's presence in East Baton Rouge (EBR) linger, but local government representatives say it won't be long before all such unsightly piles of Hurricane-related debris are removed. 

City-Parish debris removal crews are making their third and final pass to collect storm debris from Hurricane Ida throughout the week of November 15, according to a Wednesday morning news release from the Office of EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome.

More than 918,000 cubic yards of debris have been collected to date and crews are expected to complete their final pass by Sunday, November 21.

The mayor's office says residents do not need to contact the City-Parish to collect their storm debris, as City-Parish environmental specialists and debris monitors are directing crews to locations where debris removal piles have been placed curbside. 

Additionally, during this final pass, officials ask that only storm-related debris be placed in curbside piles. City-Parish officials say contractors, such as those providing tree services to residents, should not place their accumulated debris curbside. 

After November 21, Republic Services will continue to pick up regular bulky and woody waste collection services for all residents in the City of Baton Rouge and unincorporated areas of East Baton Rouge Parish, including any storm debris residents are unable to place curbside by November 21.


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FEMA to close Disaster Recovery Center in St. James Parish https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-to-close-disaster-recovery-center-in-st-james-parish/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-to-close-disaster-recovery-center-in-st-james-parish/ Storm resources Tue, 9 Nov 2021 5:30:58 AM WBRZ Staff FEMA to close Disaster Recovery Center in St. James Parish

CONVENT - The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, located in the Convent Senior Center at 5775 Hwy 44, Convent, will permanently close Thursday, November 18.

FEMA officials notified St. James Parish Emergency Management staff that this closure is due to the decreased number of visitors to the recovery center.

The average number of visitors has reached below the required FEMA threshold.

Residents in need of assistance with filing claims, or to check the status of an existing claim, are encouraged to visit the DRC in Convent before Thursday, November 18th for in-person assistance.

Additional assistance can be found by visiting disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.


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City-Parish debris removal crews expected to complete final pass by Thanksgiving https://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-debris-removal-crews-expected-to-complete-final-pass-by-thanksgiving/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/city-parish-debris-removal-crews-expected-to-complete-final-pass-by-thanksgiving/ Storm resources Tue, 2 Nov 2021 10:41:59 AM WBRZ Staff City-Parish debris removal crews expected to complete final pass by Thanksgiving

BATON ROUGE - According to a Tuesday news release from the office of EBR Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, City-Parish debris removal crews have so far completed their first parish-wide pass and collected over 860,000 cubic yards of storm debris from Hurricane Ida.

The news release said crews are now conducting their second and third comprehensive passes in all neighborhoods impacted by the storm.

Trucks are collecting debris along residential roadways in the City of Baton Rouge, and unincorporated areas of East Baton Rouge Parish.

City-Parish officials anticipate crews completing all final passes by Thanksgiving. 

Officials say debris removal crews and trucks will remain fully operational in addressing residents’ debris removal needs. 

The City-Parish will begin transitioning bulky and woody waste collection services to Republic Services as crews complete their third and final pass.

City-Parish environmental specialists and debris monitors continue to assess damages on every street in impacted areas and direct trucks to debris removal piles. 

Residents are encouraged to continue organizing their storm debris into separate piles, as crews cannot collect storm debris that is mixed with other household trash or types of debris.

For more information and to track the status of the City-Parish’s Hurricane Ida debris removal program, visit brla.gov/idadebris.


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Final pass for debris removal on EBR state routes to take place Wednesday https://www.wbrz.com/news/final-pass-for-debris-removal-on-ebr-state-routes-to-take-place-wednesday/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/final-pass-for-debris-removal-on-ebr-state-routes-to-take-place-wednesday/ Storm resources Tue, 2 Nov 2021 5:05:37 AM WBRZ Staff Final pass for debris removal on EBR state routes to take place Wednesday

BATON ROUGE - According to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), the final pass of Hurricane Ida debris removal in East Baton Rouge Parish will take place Wednesday, November 3. 

Debris removal operations from only state highways will be complete in East Baton Rouge Parish after this pass.

DOTD asks that residents keep hurricane debris out of the roadway and out of the line of sight for motorists.

Officials also request that debris not be placed in ditches or on street corners.

DOTD is encouraging residents to follow the suggestions below to assist in the debris removal process:

-State contractors are only able to remove debris from state right-of-way.

-Do not push debris into the roadway. Multiple sweeps will allow debris that cannot fit at one time to be removed.

-Please don’t put debris on power lines, fire hydrants, utility stub-outs, or anything that would hinder the claw that grabs the debris. Multiple sweeps will pick up what may not fit initially.

-Construction and demolition debris, as well as vegetative debris, are some of the items traditionally picked up first.

-Debris on commercial, agricultural, and undeveloped properties will not be removed.

-Dark-colored bagged debris will not be removed.

-Certain debris, such as refrigerators and freezers, engines, and other materials that have to be disposed of in a different manner may be picked up at a separate time and/or sweep.

DOTD is also reminding citizens that debris removal progress can be seen at www.511la.org. 

The page is updated daily at 6:00 am to reflect data from the previous day following disposal of debris material. 

Debris removal information on local roadways in East Baton Rouge can be found at the EBR Hurricane Ida Debris Pick-up Status page.


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Deadline extended for flood claim proof for Hurricane Ida https://www.wbrz.com/news/deadline-extended-for-flood-claim-proof-for-hurricane-ida/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/deadline-extended-for-flood-claim-proof-for-hurricane-ida/ Storm resources Sun, 31 Oct 2021 5:03:43 PM Associated Press Deadline extended for flood claim proof for Hurricane Ida

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is giving Louisiana flood insurance policyholders with damage from Hurricane Ida extra time to submit a proof of loss form and documentation about the damage.

Usually, people have 60 days after the damage to provide the information. But FEMA tripled that time for Louisiana residents with Ida destruction to their property, extending the deadline to 180 days to turn over the required forms and information such as contractor estimates, receipts and photographs of the damage.

Ida struck southeastern Louisiana on Aug. 29 as a Category 4 storm, causing extensive flooding in some areas.

The proof of loss form is a signed statement explaining how much repair or replacement of the damaged property is estimated to cost, along with details about the destruction.

More information is available on FEMA’s website.


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Last chance for Ascension residents to sign up for hurricane debris pick-up https://www.wbrz.com/news/last-chance-for-ascension-residents-to-sign-up-for-hurricane-debris-pick-up/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/last-chance-for-ascension-residents-to-sign-up-for-hurricane-debris-pick-up/ Storm resources Tue, 19 Oct 2021 5:36:00 PM WBRZ Staff Last chance for Ascension residents to sign up for hurricane debris pick-up

Debris pick-up from Hurricane Ida will soon wrap up in Ascension Parish.

The deadline to register for the final round of pick-ups is Monday, Oct. 25.

"We really do feel like we will complete all of the debris pick-up by the end of October," Ascension Parish Communication Director Martin McConnell said.

So far, the parish has picked up 320,000 cubic yards of debris. The pick-up crews are working seven days a week to get the job done.

"We are going to pick up every stick of debris that is in the parish," McConnell said.

Residents can register for the pick-up here. Those without internet can call the citizen service center at (225) 450-1200.


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State program to help homeowners struggling with insurance disputes after Ida https://www.wbrz.com/news/state-program-to-help-homeowners-struggling-with-insurance-disputes-after-ida/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/state-program-to-help-homeowners-struggling-with-insurance-disputes-after-ida/ Storm resources Mon, 18 Oct 2021 4:49:20 PM WBRZ Staff State program to help homeowners struggling with insurance disputes after Ida

BATON ROUGE - Homeowners fighting with insurance companies over Hurricane Ida damage claims can now seek help from the state.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance announced a new mediation program Monday that will be available to policyholders and be able to help with residential insurance claims of up to $50,000.

You can read more details on the program here.

Find more storm resources here.


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FEMA taking applications for gravesite repairs after Hurricane Ida https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-taking-applications-for-gravesite-repairs-after-hurricane-ida/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-taking-applications-for-gravesite-repairs-after-hurricane-ida/ Storm resources Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:45:08 PM WBRZ Staff FEMA taking applications for gravesite repairs after Hurricane Ida

BATON ROUGE - FEMA is offering federal help to repair graves damaged by Hurricane Ida. 

The agency said Thursday that those with loved ones whose graves were damaged during the storm could be eligible for financial assistance if they meet the following criteria

- The damage to the grave site or above-ground vault occurred as a result of Hurricane Ida.

- The damage took place in one of the 25 designated parishes: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

-The grave or vault was in a privately owned, licensed cemetery or burial facility and the reburial costs are the legal responsibility of an individual and not the cemetery.

Reburial assistance may include: 

- Transfer of remains, including locating, gathering, and identifying displaced caskets

- Caskets, containers, vaults, or urns that were damaged

- Burial plot

- Markers or headstones that were damaged due to unearthed remains

- Necessary costs related to identifying remains

- Gravesite – necessary work to rebury

Apply for assistance here.


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Hurricane Ida in Louisiana: Caskets, vaults still displaced https://www.wbrz.com/news/hurricane-ida-in-louisiana-caskets-vaults-still-displaced/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/hurricane-ida-in-louisiana-caskets-vaults-still-displaced/ Storm resources Tue, 12 Oct 2021 3:31:12 AM Associated Press Hurricane Ida in Louisiana: Caskets, vaults still displaced

LAFITTE, La. (AP) — Hurricane Ida swept through Louisiana with furious winds that ripped roofs off buildings and storm surge so powerful it moved homes. What it wrought on the living it also wrought on the dead, moving vaults and caskets and adding another layer of trauma for families and communities recovering from the powerful storm.

“Once you bury a relative, you expect that to be the permanent resting place,” said the Rev. Haywood Johnson Jr., who lives in the small community of Ironton, south of New Orleans along the Mississippi River. Ida’s surge destroyed nearly every home in the community and pushed heavy vaults — including those containing Johnson’s mother and other relatives — from their resting spots into the streets.

“Some of those tombs weigh a couple of tons. And the water just came and disrupted it like they were cardboard boxes. That was the force of the water,” Johnson said.

Louisiana’s location in a hurricane-prone region coupled with cultural burial practices that often lay the dead to rest above ground make the problem common in the aftermath of strong hurricanes or other flooding.

Ryan Seidemann chairs the state’s Cemetery Response Task Force, which was formed after the 2016 floods in Baton Rouge led to widespread problems at cemeteries across the flood-stricken region. Members of the task force start surveying cemeteries as soon as they can after a storm to assess damage.

In some cases, storm surge or flooding from heavy rain can move the vaults so far that it’s not immediately clear where they were buried. Often made of thousands of pounds of concrete or cinder block, vaults can have air pockets inside and the concrete itself can actually be more buoyant than people realize, Seidemann said.

“They float. They tend to go wherever the water goes. We’ve recovered them from yards, from levees, from underneath stairwells,” he said. “There’s no rhyme or reason, really, to where they come to rest, and then it’s kind of our logistical problem to figure out how to get them out of there.”

And recovery is just the first step. The team then has to identify the remains and often works with families to get Federal Emergency Management Agency aid for reburial costs. Even as they’re working on post-Ida recovery, Seidemann said the task force is still dealing with damage from hurricanes last year that sent remains into coastal marshes.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, having remains displaced is like “opening up old wounds” for families, Seidemann said: “They’re going to have to go through the whole grieving process again.”

It’s also upsetting for people struggling to rebuild their homes or their businesses who come across a vault or casket on their yard or road, although Seidemann said people are generally patient and just want the remains returned to provide closure for families.

Thomas Halko lives along Bayou Barataria where it intersects with Goose Bayou in southeastern Louisiana. In the middle of his property is a small family cemetery often referred to as the Lafitte Cemetery or the Perrin Family cemetery.

After the hurricane, Halko found thick layers of mud washed over the property, one of his houses pushed off its 4-foot-high pillars and two of the heavy stone vaults in the cemetery moved. One came to rest atop the levee that separates the property from the bayou. Across the road was another vault that Halko thinks was in the cemetery.

“It took quite a beating,” Halko said, speaking of the cemetery. Gesturing to the vault on top of the road, he said: “That’s one example.”

Edward Perrin has relatives buried there as well as in other cemeteries in the long ridge of land that stretches toward the Gulf of Mexico. He said at least one vault became dislodged after Rita and had to be recovered. The 87-year-old said he had thought he might want to be laid to rest at the family’s cemetery on Goose Bayou but the graves disturbances have made him reconsider.

“All of this water situation is causing problems with worshiping and burying and living,” he said.

Families sometimes strap down graves or use sandbags to keep them in place ahead of a storm, said Arbie Goings, a task force member who is also a retired funeral director. When they do get displaced, identifying remains can be challenging, especially in cases of long dead people with fewer, if any, ways to match things like dental records or DNA.

Some caskets have a little plastic tube — called a memory tube — screwed into its end where a funeral home can put identifying information, Goings said. In some cases, they’ve found the name at the foot of the casket or embroidered into a piece of cloth covering the bottom part of the person, he said.

Often family members can give key identifying details. He recalled one case where they identified a woman’s remains by the marbles her grandchildren put in her casket in honor of her love of the game.

In some cases, they exhaust all options. A handful of people who could not be identified after the 2016 floods are buried at Plainview Cemetery in Denham Springs. And sometimes, despite extensive searching, caskets go missing and are never found.

Seidemann estimated it could take as long as two years to return all the remains displaced by Ida to their rightful places. That’s about how long it took after the 2016 floods in the Baton Rouge area.

The team has been in Ironton and Lafitte gathering the vaults and caskets scattered by the water. When they are identified, they will be reburied. In Ironton, the Rev. Johnson said he hopes to have a ceremony at that time to honor the dead.


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Oct. 8 last day to call Crisis Cleanup Hotline https://www.wbrz.com/news/oct-8-last-day-to-call-crisis-cleanup-hotline/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/oct-8-last-day-to-call-crisis-cleanup-hotline/ Storm resources Fri, 8 Oct 2021 4:07:55 AM WBRZ Staff Oct. 8 last day to call Crisis Cleanup Hotline

BATON ROUGE - As residents in the capital area continue to recover from the damaging impact of Hurricane Ida, FEMA continues to provide support to survivors.

October 8 is the last day to call FEMA's Crisis Cleanup Hotline.

The hotline is for survivors who need help with clean up and removal of damage from Hurricane Ida and it will connect them with volunteers, local relief organizations and faith and community groups to help with cutting fallen trees; removing drywall, flooring and appliances; tarping roofs; and mold mitigation.

Interested individuals should call 844-965-1386 to request assistance.

Hurricane Ida survivors planning to appeal a FEMA decision should keep the following helpful info in mind:

-Send an appeal letter to FEMA within 60 days of the date of the determination letter.

-Carefully read FEMA’s letter to understand what the agency requests.

-Include evidence to support an appeal request such as: ? Letters from your insurance company to support your case.

     > A copy of a utility bill or driver’s license to show proof of occupancy.

     > A copy of your mortgage or insurance documents to show proof you own your home. 

-Remember to sign and date the appeal, and include the nine-digit FEMA application number, the disaster number (DR-4611-LA) and documents that would be considered proof.


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FEMA representatives go door-to-door to help Ida survivors apply for assistance https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-representatives-go-door-to-door-to-help-ida-survivors-apply-for-assistance/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/fema-representatives-go-door-to-door-to-help-ida-survivors-apply-for-assistance/ Storm resources Tue, 5 Oct 2021 6:11:25 AM WBRZ Staff FEMA representatives go door-to-door to help Ida survivors apply for assistance

BATON ROUGE-  There's still time for survivors of Hurricane Ida to file a claim with FEMA, but the window of time allowing for such applications will soon come to a close. 

To assist, FEMA has launched what it calls a 'canvassing' initiative. It brings face-to-face assistance right to the doorsteps of homeowners across the state. 

The community outreach program is designed to reach those who may have transportation troubles that prevent them from traveling to one of FEMA's sites and to those who lack internet access and subsequently lack access to FEMA's online application opportunities. 

WBRZ's Dana DiPiazza spoke with one local in a north Baton Rouge neighborhood who was eager to see FEMA workers assist people right in his own neighborhood, on his very street.

He told DiPiazza he hadn't even realized he could apply to receive assistance in replacing what he'd lost during Hurricane Ida.

But as he stood in his driveway, FEMA representatives were able to help him file a claim.

The representatives can also help those who've already filed by checking on the status of their applications or assist them in filing an appeal if they were denied.

While this door-to-door initiative is helpful to some, there's currently no way to check and see if FEMA representatives will be in your neighborhood next.

In any case, the Disaster Relief Sites where individuals can apply in person are still up and running; to find the site closest to you, visit the DRC Locator website here. 

Those wishing to apply for assistance with FEMA have until October 28 to do so.


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Louisiana opens temporary housing program for Hurricane Ida victims https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-opens-temporary-housing-program-for-hurricane-ida-victims/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-opens-temporary-housing-program-for-hurricane-ida-victims/ Storm resources Mon, 4 Oct 2021 2:33:03 PM WBRZ Staff Louisiana opens temporary housing program for Hurricane Ida victims

BATON ROUGE - The state is opening a program that will provide temporary housing for storm victims in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ida.

Governor John Bel Edwards said in a statement Monday that the program will provide travel trailers and other housing options to people living in heavily impacted parishes who don't have viable shelter locations.

The state said FEMA approved the program to provide safe, non-congregate housing for storm victims during the pandemic.

Applications for the program can be found here. 

Read the full announcement from the state below.

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state of Louisiana, through the Governor’s Office Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, is opening the Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program, which will provide temporary housing, like travel trailers, to people in heavily impacted parishes where other sheltering options are currently unavailable. Those whose homes were destroyed or currently unlivable can begin registering for the program today by either visiting www.Idashelteringla.com or calling (844) 268-0301.

Louisiana’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program was authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide safe non-congregate sheltering due to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is intended to help reduce the risk of spreading the virus among households while allowing individuals and families to live as closely as possible as they repair their damaged homes. The goal is to have the first state-owned travel trailers staged in the designated parishes within the week as teams begin assessing both group and private location sites.

Louisiana’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program is designed to complement, not replace, other housing options such as travel trailers, hotels and mobile homes offered through FEMA.
“There is no doubt that there are people currently living in unsafe or unsanitary housing because of Hurricane Ida, which is not acceptable. Housing is the biggest challenge facing those affected by this devastating storm, and our state-run sheltering program is a safe, creative, temporary solution to get more people closer to their homes as they rebuild,” Gov. Edwards said. “I’m grateful to FEMA’s flexibility in working with us to purchase travel trailers as an interim solution to help survivors while other efforts, including work by FEMA, are ongoing. Last week, Congress and the White House approved billions in federal Community Development Block Grant funding for Louisiana and other states to address damage caused by recent storms. In Louisiana, we intend to direct much of our share of the funding to housing recovery for people affected by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta and Ida.”

The program offers non-congregate sheltering, which is different from traditional sheltering options to provide a living space that offers some level of privacy. Sheltering options may include hotels, base camps, crew barges or recreational vehicles (RVs), including travel trailers that typically hitch to an existing vehicle. While this program is funded through FEMA, it is run entirely by the state.

To register for the program or find out what sheltering options are available in affected parishes visit IdaShelteringla.com or call (844) 268-0301 or for TTY services call (844) 458-1806.

Residents can check the availability of shelters in their areas by texting LAShelter to 898211 or dial 211 to locate a shelter or by visiting www.getagameplan.org.

After receiving federal approval from FEMA, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness issued an emergency procurement request that resulted in the hiring of APTIM on September 24, 2021. Last week, the state issued its first purchase order for travel trailers for the program. The program is federally funded through the FEMA Public Assistance program, which means the federal government will cover 90 percent of the costs.


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Analysis: Louisiana braces for flood insurance sticker shock https://www.wbrz.com/news/analysis-louisiana-braces-for-flood-insurance-sticker-shock/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/analysis-louisiana-braces-for-flood-insurance-sticker-shock/ Storm resources Sun, 3 Oct 2021 4:03:20 PM Associated Press Analysis: Louisiana braces for flood insurance sticker shock

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana homeowners, many of them still digging out of Hurricane Ida’s destruction, will soon see rising flood insurance bills. But the federal government is providing few details about how much its recalculation of rates will boost premiums beyond the first year.

Insurers, homeowners and politicians getting their first glimpses at cost increases people around south Louisiana and other coastal regions might see from the National Flood Insurance Program are starting to sound alarms. They say people could end up being billed thousands more annually after the full phase-in, and they suggest the Federal Emergency Management Agency deliberately won’t share information about how expensive premiums will get.

They say such increases add insult to injury for Louisiana residents still trying to recover from last year’s Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta and Ida’s new blow in August.

“These are working families who are trying to make ends meet, and suddenly they’re no longer able to protect themselves,” said Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy, other members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation and lawmakers from additional coastal states urged President Joe Biden’s administration to delay the changes, to no avail.

The flood insurance rate recalculation — which has been proposed for years — began Friday for people seeking new policies and starts April 1 for policies being renewed.

In Louisiana, up to 80% of the 496,000 National Flood Insurance Program policies are expected to see price hikes in the first year. Most face an initial yearly increase of no more than $120, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But details get vague on how many people will see additional price hikes in later years and how large they’ll be.
The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Louisiana asked federal officials for rate charts that show the long-term pricing changes.

“They said, ‘We don’t have that put together yet,’” said organization CEO Jeff Albright. “How do you make that decision without having the full information?”

Republican U.S. Reps. Steve Scalise and Garret Graves, in a letter urging delay, wrote that a Larose homeowner seeking a new flood insurance policy was quoted a $572 annual premium to take effect Sept. 30. When the policy shifted to an Oct. 8 start date, the yearly premium was quoted at $5,531.

FEMA says the new pricing plan — called Risk Rating 2.0 — will more accurately reflect flood risks of individual properties, respond to climate change and end longstanding program inequities. The agency said the updated calculations reflect the first rating methodology changes since the 1970s.

“We can no longer ignore the fact that some of our policyholders have been unjustly subsidizing other policyholders,” David Maurstad, FEMA’s senior executive for the National Flood Insurance Program, told reporters Sept. 24, according to a call transcript.

Homes and businesses located in areas considered at high flooding risk are required to have flood insurance if they have government-backed mortgages. Some lenders require flood insurance in other areas as well. Most of that coverage is provided through the federal program.

FEMA said the program collected $60 billion in premiums over the last 50 years but paid out $96 billion in claims.
Louisiana officials caution the new rate calculations could drive people in lower risk areas out of the flood insurance program, damaging its solvency. They worry rate hikes could make it harder for some people to stay in their homes or sell them to others, harming the housing market. And they say chasing people out of the program will drive up other federal disaster aid costs.

Maurstad said Congress capped most annual flood insurance rate increases at 18% so existing policyholders cannot receive price hikes beyond that.

“It becomes very unmanageable after those 18% increases continuously compound for years to come. In four short years, 18% compounding increases cause a premium to nearly double,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who joined Cassidy in criticizing the changes.

Maurstad said half of all policyholders will reach the full increased price after five years of premium hikes. Another 40% will see cost increases for a decade before reaching the new rate, he said. Others will take even longer. Properties that were grandfathered in at prior flood insurance rates if the risk calculation changed for the area will lose that premium discount.

“The only way this gets stopped is if Congress stops it, and right now I’m not sure if Congress can agree on anything,” said Albright.


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Residents in Baker encouraged to gather last of vegetative storm debris, place at curb https://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-in-baker-encouraged-to-gather-last-of-vegetative-storm-debris-place-at-curb/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/residents-in-baker-encouraged-to-gather-last-of-vegetative-storm-debris-place-at-curb/ Storm resources Fri, 1 Oct 2021 12:12:12 PM WBRZ Staff Residents in Baker encouraged to gather last of vegetative storm debris, place at curb

BAKER - The City of Baker issued a news release Friday reminding locals to put their remaining Hurricane Ida vegetative debris at the curb by Sunday, Oct. 3.

This is imperative as Monday is the final pass for storm debris collection.

Local officials say any other type of garbage should not be mixed with, or placed in the pile of garbage placed at the curb; inappropriate debris will not be picked up.


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Blue Roof program sign-up deadline extended for Hurricane Ida victims https://www.wbrz.com/news/blue-roof-program-sign-up-deadline-extended-for-hurricane-ida-victims/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/blue-roof-program-sign-up-deadline-extended-for-hurricane-ida-victims/ Storm resources Wed, 29 Sep 2021 12:35:34 PM WBRZ Staff Blue Roof program sign-up deadline extended for Hurricane Ida victims

BATON ROUGE - The sign-up period for the federal program that supplies blue tarps to storm-damaged homes has been extended for those impacted by Hurricane Ida. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Wednesday that the application period for the program was extended to Oct. 15. The original deadline for those affected by the storm was Sept. 30.

Residents in the following 25 parishes are eligible for the program: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Washington, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana.

The USACE Mobile Communication Vehicle (MCV) will assist residents in applying for the program from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the following locations:

- Belle Rose Library Parking Lot (October 1)

- Labadieville Middle School Parking Lot (October 2)

- In front of the Assumption Parish Courthouse (October 3)

You can apply here. 


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EBR debris removal expected to proceed following brief interruption due to weather https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-debris-removal-expected-to-proceed-following-brief-interruption-due-to-weather/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/ebr-debris-removal-expected-to-proceed-following-brief-interruption-due-to-weather/ Storm resources Wed, 29 Sep 2021 7:10:59 AM WBRZ Staff EBR debris removal expected to proceed following brief interruption due to weather

BATON ROUGE - A brief pause in Baton Rouge's removal of post-Hurricane Ida debris occurred Tuesday due to weather conditions in the capital area.

Kelvin Hill, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer said, "We can't control what mother nature does. We just control how we plan, react, and respond to that. We have a good plan. We keep the drivers safe. We pull the drivers off the streets during bad weather and put them back out there when they can get out there."

Despite yesterday's temporary pause, the city-parish's contracted workers have already picked up 440,000 cubic yards of debris, which is ten percent more than they expected to have accomplished by this date. 

Hill spoke with confidence as he told WBRZ, "We certainly thought this effort would take us about 12 weeks and we're three weeks in, so it's really not the time to be concerned. we'll get to everybody, we'll get the debris collected. So if they'll have patience, we'll get around to them and we'll get it collected.

Workers are picking up debris at a rate of about 27,000 cubic yards on a daily basis.

>Click here to view a map of Hurricane Ida Debris Pickup Status provided by the city-parish< 

The contractors are still on their first pass and Week Three of an estimated 12-week process. 

It is estimated that there are still about 250-300,000 more cubic yards to be collected. This is a fair amount of work but officials are confident that, with about 90 units on the roads and crews working seven days a week, workers are up to the task. 

Trucks are in every zone that has been identified for collections and they aren't taking it one problem at a time, instead they are tackling multiple issues all at once.

While some parishes don't have the luxury of spreading out resources and instead, must focus all resources on harder-hit areas, East Baton Rouge is able to send crews to various parts of the parish daily. This implies that work can take place at a quicker pace. 

After Tuesday's brief pause in activity due to stormy weather, it is anticipated that crews will hit the ground running Wednesday. 

To help these workers out, residents are asked to separate their construction material from vegetative debris. This makes it easier for workers to pick up. 


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'Hot Foods' waiver extended through October 28 for Ida survivors https://www.wbrz.com/news/hot-foods-waiver-extended-through-october-28-for-ida-survivors/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/hot-foods-waiver-extended-through-october-28-for-ida-survivors/ Storm resources Wed, 29 Sep 2021 3:22:19 AM WBRZ Staff 'Hot Foods' waiver extended through October 28 for Ida survivors

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana received a waiver extension allowing recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Disaster SNAP (DSNAP) and Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) benefits to use to purchase “hot” or prepared foods through October 28, 2021.

Normally, SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase “hot food products prepared for immediate consumption.” But officials realize that waiving this restriction is vital in the aftermath of a storm such as Hurricane Ida, where many residents are displaced and cannot access a kitchen to prepare their meals.

The waiver extension, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Service and granted September 26, allows SNAP recipients to use their benefits to buy prepared foods available at any retailer that accepts EBT cards in Louisiana. Restaurant purchases are still prohibited.

More information about the “hot foods” waiver can be found at http://dcfs.la.gov/hotfoods.

For more information about DSNAP, visit http://dcfs.la.gov/dsnap.


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Livingston Parish sets date for post-hurricane debris pick up https://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-sets-date-for-post-hurricane-debris-pick-up/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-sets-date-for-post-hurricane-debris-pick-up/ Storm resources Tue, 28 Sep 2021 5:10:08 AM WBRZ Staff Livingston Parish sets date for post-hurricane debris pick up

LIVINGSTON PARISH - Livingston Parish will begin picking up Construction & Demolition debris on Monday, October 4th, as well as vegetative debris.

Officials ask that the piles be separated, adding that if vegetative and C&D are combined in anyway it will not be picked up.

The debris contractor will be making several passes on every Parish road, excluding those in the city limits of Denham Springs and State highways.

The City of Denham Springs has their own debris contractor within city limits and DOTD has a contractor for State highways.


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Battered Grand Isle closes to all but locals, camp owners https://www.wbrz.com/news/battered-grand-isle-closes-to-all-but-locals-camp-owners/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/battered-grand-isle-closes-to-all-but-locals-camp-owners/ Storm resources Tue, 28 Sep 2021 3:05:08 AM Associated Press Battered Grand Isle closes to all but locals, camp owners

GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) — Grand Isle officials say that the narrow barrier island is closed to all but people who live there or those who own camps there as residents try to recover from Hurricane Ida’s devastating impacts.

In a posting on the town’s website Saturday, officials said the widespread devastation caused the town council and the mayor to make the decision to close the island, which is a destination spot for fishing and vacation getaways.

“The decision to close the island was a difficult one,” said Mayor David Camardelle in the announcement, “but it is in everyone’s best interest.”

Ida came ashore on August 29 just a few miles away near Port Fourchon. The Category 4 hurricane’s ferocious winds and storm surge destroyed the city’s electrical infrastructure. The town said in its announcement that 80% of the structures on the island sustained damage.

According to the post about 200 personnel from various agencies are currently on the island specifically to help with the recovery. That number is expected to increase as energy provider, Entergy, works to restore the grid, the statement said.

But Grand Isle residents have vowed to come back, despite the damage.


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Louisiana Department of Health reopens select oyster beds after Hurricane Ida closures https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-department-of-health-reopens-select-oyster-beds-after-hurricane-ida-closures/ https://www.wbrz.com/news/louisiana-department-of-health-reopens-select-oyster-beds-after-hurricane-ida-closures/ Storm resources Mon, 27 Sep 2021 8:29:43 AM WBRZ Staff Louisiana Department of Health reopens select oyster beds after Hurricane Ida closures

The Louisiana Department of Health reopened oyster beds in areas 6 through 8 and 11 through 28 at sunrise Monday.  

They were previously closed due to Hurricane Ida.

Click here to view the closure order, signed by State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter and LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips.

More information about LDH’s Molluscan Shellfish Program can be found here.


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