Friday, 31 August 2012 20:08

Isaac Louisiana: Chlorine, Individual Assistance, Grand Isle, Jindal, Obama

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grandisleFriday, days after the day that Hurricane Isaac wallopped Louisiana, there have been numerous activities and announcements from President Obama, Governor Jindal, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and others regarding a variety of issues such as individual assistance, chlorine leaks, agricultural loses and a variety of emergency actions.



Photo of Louisiana Flooding from Hurricane Isaac 
Chlorine leak rumor

St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone has confirmed that there is no chlorine leak along Highway 39 east of Braithwaite. St. Bernard Parish officials stated there have been no evacuations ordered.

Readout of President Obama’s Call with Parish Presidents, Mayors, and County Leaders from Louisiana and Mississippi

This afternoon, the President convened a call with a number of Parish Presidents, Mayors and County Leaders from Louisiana and Mississippi who were impacted by Hurricane Isaac. On the call, the President asked Secretary Napolitano and Administrator Fugate to provide the officials with an update on the resources and steps FEMA has taken to support their communities and first responders as they continue to confront ongoing flooding and damage caused by the storm. The President noted the extensive damage in areas across the Gulf Coast and told the officials that they – as well as the communities they represent -- were in his thoughts and prayers. The President also made clear that he had directed FEMA to continue to bring all available resources to bear to support response and recovery efforts. FEMA teams have been on the ground in both states since before the storm made landfall and federal responders continue to move supplies – including water, meals, generators, medical supplies and other resources – into affected areas in both states as conditions allow. Teams from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Energy are supporting power supply and restoration efforts.

At the requests of the Governors, the President approved Emergency Declarations for Louisiana and Mississippi earlier this week, and on Wednesday night the President provided expedited Major Disaster declarations for both states which make additional federal resources available to the state and local governments. On the call the President informed the Louisiana Parish Presidents and Louisiana Mayors that today he approved the addition of Individual Assistance to the state’s Disaster Declaration, making federal funding available directly to affected individuals in impacted areas. The President asked the officials to continue to identify needs that may arise as the response efforts continue and recovery efforts begin.


- Today, FEMA announced an amendment to the major disaster declaration for the State of Louisiana to include the Individual Assistance Program.

Federal funding is available to affected individuals in Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany parishes. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, and uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and households recover from the effects of the disaster.

Individuals and households who sustained losses in the designated county can begin applying for assistance by registering online at, by web enabled mobile device at or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

For more information, visit:

Mississippi river and Port of New Orleans

Traffic returned to the Mississippi River today and both break-bulk and container operations resumed at Port of New Orleans terminals.

In addition, the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation arrived at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal about 2 p.m. and disembarkations and embarkations for the Cruise ship’s revised three-day “Fun Cruise @ Sea” went smoothly. Mediterranean Shipping Company’s 778-foot MSC Nederland was the first cargo vessel to leave Port today after she sought safe harbor at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal during Hurricane Isaac.

Port terminals will be bustling for the next few days as terminal operators handle a backlog of vessels. A total of 23 ships are scheduled to call on Port docks by Tuesday. Included are 12 container vessels, nine break-bulk cargo vessels, and two cruise ships.

“We understand there are a lot of commercial activities that go into the decisions cargo carriers must make in these situations and we appreciate their patience during adverse times and their commitment to the Port of New Orleans,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange.

LaGrange thanked container carriers, such as Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMACGM, Maersk, ZIM, Seaboard, CSAV and Libra for their patience while Port officials worked alongside the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and pilot associations to reopen the River Friday morning and return commerce to the Port of New Orleans.

“All of our partners and stakeholders again showed the dedication and resiliency that makes the Mississippi River the greatest River for commerce in the world,” LaGrange said.

Ports America, which operates the Nashville Avenue Complex, worked break-bulk operations throughout today and New Orleans Terminal began receiving and discharging containers from the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. In addition, Pacorini Global and Silocaf resumed operations today, as well.

Agricultural damages

Today, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) begins storm damage assessments from Hurricane Isaac.

Those assessments, being conducted in conjunction with LSU AgCenter, will begin in the coastal areas which were hard hit from the storm.

“We are performing an aerial assessment today to look at critical infrastructure and livestock. Our agricultural producers have suffered another major loss as a result of this storm. Now, we are working on the recovery process and hope to get whatever assistance we can to help our farmers bounce back from this disaster,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M.

Any requests for assistance should go through the local county agent. Damage assessment results will be given to local offices of emergency preparedness.

Fuel update:

Dairy farmers with power outages and who cannot receive fuel commercially may purchase 50 gallons of fuel per day at the LDAF office in Hammond.

So far, 161,514 gallons of diesel fuel and 138,846 gallons of unleaded fuel have been requested by hospitals, law enforcement agencies and other emergency operators.

Pet evacuation update:

Alexandria has a total of 94 pets:

92 dogs

2 cats

Haughton has a total of 65 pets:

60 dogs

3 cats

2 birds

Pet evacuation numbers continue to decrease as people leave the human shelter.

Hill’s Pet Food Company donated dog and cat food to LDAF for the pet shelters.

Workforce Commission

- The Louisiana Workforce Commission's web site is up and operational after a storm-related interruption of service Friday afternoon. Unemployment insurance claimants may now file claims 24 hours a day at

Texas Beef

Today, the State of Louisiana received a temporary waiver of restrictions from Texas to allow beef cattle to evacuate from Louisiana into Texas as a result of Hurricane Isaac.

“I’d like to thank the Texas Animal Health Commission for working with us during our time of need,” said Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “This waiver allows us to get our cattle out of harms way as quickly as possible without the necessary paperwork to cross state lines.”

The procedure is as follows: A representative for Louisiana Department of Agriculture or the herd owner must call the Texas Animal health Commission (TAHC) permits line (512-719-0777) or the after hours permit line (800-550-8242) and request an entry permit number for each shipment of cattle moving into Texas. This entry permit is valid for 10 days. Within 10 days the cattle must be returned to Louisiana or have met Texas entry requirements, which include official identification, a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI), and testing of bulls for Trichomoniasis.


Governor Bobby Jindal held a Unified Command Group meeting and a press conference where he provided an update on the state’s response to the storm. The Governor later traveled to Lafitte and Grand Isle to meet with local officials and survey flood damage.


For the Percy Quinn dam response, the National Guard task force commander is co-located with the parish president at the Emergency Operations Center.

The Guard has a response force staged at two locations and is providing a 10-man shelter security team at the Ponchatoula High School.

Overall for the response effort in Tangipahoa Parish, the Guard has 566 Guardsmen, one LUH-72 Lakota helicopter, 72 Humvees, 47 high-water vehicles, 142 buses for evacuation operations and four Zodiac boats.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries assembled a search and rescue response force for the dam situation consisting of 118 wildlife agents with vessels, 80 state Urban Search and Rescue personnel with 15 vessels, 10 La. National Guardsmen with vessels and five DEQ personnel.

DOTD has restaged bus assets to assist with evacuation efforts in Tangipahoa Parish. 153 buses are en route or have arrived at the affected areas.

Tangi Pines in Amite is approximately 3,900 feet from the Tangipahoa River. Out of precaution, Tangi Pines was evacuated to its sister facility in Gretna. Incidentally, Bayside had earlier evacuated to Tangi Pines because of power outage, but power has since been returned to that facility.

DHH assisted in the evacuation of 140 patients and 10 caretakers using two coaches, four paratransit vehicles and 49 ambulances. All but 11 patients when to Bayside. Those 11 were transported to nearby Hood Memorial Hospital.

In terms of the dam breach, the water is down another six inches since 2 AM.

The water is low enough that the emergency spillway is no longer discharging.

There was some rain which slowed dirt work on the controlled breach but they are still progressing.

The slide area does not appear to be deteriorating. This process will take a few days according to the folks on the ground.

The water level is down enough though that the emergency spillway is completely dry which has reduced pressure on the dam.

In St. John, the National Guard has evacuated 3,647 people and rescued 398 people. To help with the efforts, the Guard is using16 High Water Vehicles, 42 Humvees, 4 boats, and 270 Guardsmen conducting security operations.

In St. Tammany, the National Guard provided 90 Guardsmen for security support and a 16-man team with 8 Humvees to support the Sherriff Department in Search and Rescue operations.

The National Guard is also supporting Search and Rescue operations at Fountain Blue High School in Mandeville with eight Guardsmen and 4 Humvees.

In Lafourche, the Bayou Boeuf levee overtopped. We offered assistance to the parish to help stop the flooding and help with search and rescue efforts.

Local officials did a voluntary evacuation of 1,000 people.

The National Guard provided a 30-Guardsman team to support a sandbag mission in Lafourche to help stop the flooding.

In Livingston Parish, the National Guard supported Search and Rescue operations with six Humvees.

In St. Charles Parish, Guardsmen are supporting Search and Rescue operations with six Humvees and 12 Guardsmen.

In Acadia Parish, the National Guard supported aerial Search and Rescue operations with seven Guardsmen.


The Department of Defense did not approve the state’s first request for Title 32 authorization for the National Guard. The state is sending a letter today asking the Department of Defense to reconsider.

Yesterday, the Governor issued an Executive Order regarding the emergency occupation of hotels and motels by utility restoration personnel.



The National Guard is conducting more than 100 missions across the state. They have assisted in the rescue and/or evacuation of more than 3,000 citizens throughout the state.

The Louisiana National Guard currently has 6,269 Soldiers and Airmen on duty in support of the response.

Ascension Parish

In Ascension Parish, the LANG has emplaced 200 feet of HESCO Bastion barrier and prepositioned 66 pallets of HESCO and plastic sheeting at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

East Feliciana

In East Feliciana Parish, the LANG has provided a 4-man team to support security missions as needed.


In Iberville Parish, the LANG has set up a POD site and delivered commodities, which they are staffing.


The LANG is setting up and staffing a POD site at the Grand Isle Town Hall and at the Lafitte Town Hall.


In Lafourche Parish, the LANG has opened and staffed a POD site.


In Orleans Parish, the LANG has a roving patrol at the Super Dome, a Security Team for six shelters, and staged 270 Guardsmen to serve as a Rapid Response Force and Search and Rescue Team.

The LANG also has a 12-man Security Detail at the Morial Convention Center.

The LANG has supported Orleans Parish in clearing approximately 3.5 miles of debris.

There are three PODS open in Orleans.


The LANG has provided 12 Humvees and 24 Guardsmen to support the Plaquemines EOC.

The LANG has airlifted 1,300 MREs and 1,000 bottles of water from the Hammond Airport POD site to 150 people at the Plaquemine Parish School football field.

The LANG has provided airlift support to deliver 1,300 MREs, 1,000 bottles of water and ice to 150 people at Point La Hache Fire Station.

The LANG has established a POD site at the Bayou Sorrel Volunteer Fire Dept. New Government Complex.

Pointe Coupee

In Pointe Coupee Parish, the Guard has Security Teams staged at three shelters.

St. Bernard

In St. Bernard Parish, the LANG has provided a 28-man Security Team at the Domino Sugar Factory and is supporting a 12-man checkpoint security mission.

St. Tammany

They have also staged 500 cases of MREs at Clearwood Jr. High School in Slidell.

St. James

In St. James Parish, the LANG has opened and is staffing two PODs.

St. John

The LANG has established six POD sites in St. John Parish.

The Guard has staged a 5,000-gallon tanker at the New Wine Christian Center.

The LANG is providing a 100 Military Police Team, along with a 170-man security team, to St John the Baptist Parish to assist security officials.


As of this morning, there were an estimated 5,186 people registered in shelters across the state.

This is a reduction of almost 1,000 since this time yesterday. While populations at State run shelters continue to rise, some Red Cross and Parish run shelters are closing.

The current population at all state-run shelters (both CTN and MSN) was 3,200 evacuees. This is double the number of evacuees at state-run shelters this time yesterday. There were 1,497 evacuees at the Alexandria mega-shelter, 1,513 evacuees at the Jewella shelter in Shreveport, 96 medical special needs evacuees at the LSU Field House and 82 at the Alexandria medical special needs shelter.

There are also 9 evacuees at the Bossier City Civic Center MSN and 3 at the Southeastern Louisiana University MSN shelters.

There are an estimated 1,986 evacuees located at other parish run, faith-based and Red Cross shelters around the state. This is a reduction of almost 2,600 evacuees since this time yesterday as some shelters are closing and evacuees begin to return home when possible. Of those, 432 are at parish-run shelters in impacted areas, 196 are at faith-based shelters, and 1,358 were located at Red Cross shelters around the state.

In Tangipahoa Parish – There currently are 8 evacuees at the Ponchatoula High School shelter that evacuated because of the situation in Tangipahoa Parish. These evacuees are in the process of being moved to a nearby Red Cross Shelter.

Red Cross shelters in the area housing evacuees are Amite High School, Hammond Jr. High, Kentwood High School, Natalbany Middle School and Neson Elementary (87 evacuees)

The American Red Cross did note that there are Louisiana residents in the following states that evacuated and are being sheltered -- Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri, Georgia, Texas.

49,570 meals and snacks have been served to evacuees in state shelters through this morning. Another 30,000 hot meals will be served today at state shelters and points of distribution.


Thirty-seven (37) nursing homes housing 4,236 residents across the state are currently operating on generator power. All but three had HVAC-ready capability. All have identified other cooling solutions or obtained needed generators.

Thirteen (13) hospitals housing 587 patients across the state are currently operating on generator power.

There are 214 ambulances in the state, as follows:
o86 State ambulances
o4 Contracted Sprint ambulances
o104 Federal ambulances
o20 Para transit vehicles


DOTD has equipment ready to assist with relief efforts, including approximately 750 chainsaws, 188 dump trucks, 49 skid steers, 41 excavators and 27 front-end loaders.


The Division announced state office closures in 16 parishes for today, and will monitor conditions, working with GOHSEP, State Police, and DOTD, to make a determination about re-openings prior to Tuesday.

To date, state agencies have spent $56.4 million and parishes have spent $10.1 million.

The Office of Community Development/Disaster Recovery Unit is working with DCFS on sheltering in Tangipahoa Parish. OCD/DRU is also working with St. John Parish on recovery planning, as well as with the Louisiana Housing Corporation to prepare for long-term housing needs in the state, should they arise.


Yesterday, DEQ did 67 rapids needs assessments. Of DEQ’s 241 debris sites, 61 have been activated.


The PSC reports that there are 617,000 power outages, or 229 percent of the state.

The Waterford 3 is expected to be back online tomorrow.


40 parishes have closed schools today.




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