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State Fire Marshal's Office working in areas hit hardest by string of severe storms, tornadoes

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Now that the line of severe storms has passed Louisiana, the recovery begins in earnest. The State Fire Marshal's Office went out to affected parishes Thursday to assess the damage.

“Today, we do have teams in Union Parish again in that Farmerville area doing official assessment, as opposed to immediate response. We also have teams in the Saint Bernard area," said Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue.

Photos posted to the State Fire Marshal's Facebook page show just how widespread the devastation really is.

Rodrigue says one tool they've been using to do damage assessments in Saint Bernard and Union Parishes is speeding the process up.

The program is called Survey123, and it allows the crews to upload damage assessments in real time as they go.

It’s literally a real-time system where we provide the parish with a link to the system. They can see what we’re doing as we’re doing it, as a deputy wraps up an assessment on one house and goes to the next," Rodrigue said. They can see what that assessment was so that they don’t have to wait for people to go out into the field, come back, fill out a report, turn it in... They can see everything moving as they are moving.”

Only two parishes have requested specific damage assessments from the State Fire Marshal's Office. Rodrigue says staff members are reaching out to the Office of Emergency Preparedness for each affected parish to make sure they're not in need.

Thursday, state fire marshal deputies conducted about 500 damage assessments in Union Parish.

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