Monday, 03 September 2012 20:49

Isaac Updates: Government Openings and Closings, Sheltering, Food stamps, power

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louisiana capitol 2With Hurricane Isaac now history, Louisiana and local governments are trying to rebuild from the damage and destruction.

Below are reports from various governmental agencies and other agencies involved in the restoration process including information regarding government openings and closings, sheltering, food and more.


Governor Bobby Jindal held a Unified Command Group meeting today and outlined the state’s response to Isaac. To note, FEMA reports that there are five Disaster Recovery Centers open. To date, 64,861 people have registered for Individual Assistance, with $1,660,570 approved for housing assistance and $219,428 for other needs.


Note: Facts and figures below are current as of today’s Unified Command Group Meeting. These numbers change throughout each day. Please contact the Joint Information Center (225-358-5361) to receive updated information.

Here are some of information provided by the state:


• In St. James Parish, the Guard is assisting with sandbagging operations and 150 Guardsmen. The National Guard is conducting Search and Rescue Operations in St. James Parish with 146 Guardsmen, eight high-water vehicles and five Humvees. The Guard is also continuing security operations with six Guardsmen in support of local law enforcement in Gramercy.

• In St. Tammany Parish, the Guard is continuing operations with 253 Guardsmen and is prepared to assist with security and evacuations near Pearl River in support of local authorities with 22 high-water vehicles, 23 Humvees and 21 boat teams.

• DOTD is placing sand along I-10 to construct a berm at Pearl River. The operation was completed on the eastbound side of I-10, near the West Pearl River Bridge, and DOTD forces will continue constructing the berm to the west end of the bridge. A total of 7,000 feet will be constructed, when complete.

• In Livingston Parish, the Guard has staged an 8-man team with four high-water vehicles for Search and Rescue operations as needed.


Louisiana National Guard:

• The Louisiana National Guard has 6,660 Soldiers and Airmen on duty in support of the response to Isaac. The Guard has assisted in the rescue and/or evacuation of 5,227 citizens throughout the state.

• The Guard is currently supporting 22 open POD sites:
o Lafourche - 1
o Jefferson - 4
o St. James- 2
o St. John- 4
o Orleans - 6
o Plaquemines - 1
o St. Bernard - 1
o St .Tammany- 3

In terms of POD operations, the National Guard reports that 1,785,561 meals, 3,053,639 bottles of water, 982,529 bags of ice and 42,817 tarps have been distributed.

Ascension Parish

• In Ascension Parish, a 20-man Guard engineer team has emplaced 200ft. of HESCO Bastion barrier.


• The Guard is assisting the Louisiana State Police with 20 Guardsmen for security operations at the Jewella shelter.


• In Jefferson Parish, the Guard is conducting security operations in support of the Jefferson Parish Sherriff's Office at the POD sites.

Orleans Parish

• In Orleans Parish, the Guard has provided security for six shelters and 270 Guardsmen to assist NOPD with security operations.

• The Guard has supported Orleans Parish in clearing approximately 16.6 miles of debris.

Plaquemines Parish

• In Plaquemines Parish, the Guard is continuing security operations in support of the Plaquemines Sherriff's Office.

• The Guard is providing generators to support the Belle Chasse Water Treatment Plant, and is conducting aerial resupply missions of commodities for civilians and livestock in Venice and Port Sulphur.

St. Bernard

• In St. Bernard Parish, the Guard is conducting security operations in support of local authorities.

St. John

• In St. John the Baptist Parish, the Guard is continuing security operations with 155 Military Policemen.


• In Tangipahoa Parish, the Guard is conducting security operations in support of local authorities.


• To date, there are an estimated 2,739 people registered in shelters across the state. This is a reduction of 788 people since yesterday. The current population at all state-run shelters (both CTN and MSN) is 2,029 evacuees. This is a reduction of 985 evacuees since yesterday.

• This reduction is for a number of reasons – the re-entry of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes, and evacuees returning on their own. There are 910 evacuees at the Alexandria mega-shelter, 1,114 evacuees at the Jewella shelter in Shreveport, and 5 medical special needs evacuees at the LSU Field House.

• There are an estimated 566 evacuees located at parish run and Red Cross shelters around the state. This is an increase of 95 since this time yesterday as a result of evacuees trying to return home and then going to a local shelter. Red Cross has increased their number of shelters in South Louisiana to accommodate for this. Of those, 8 are at parish-run shelters in impacted areas and 558 are located at Red Cross shelters around the state. The only parish-run shelter with a census is the St. Bernard Recreation Center with 8 evacuees.

• The Federal Special Needs Shelter at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans has 47 evacuees.

• USDA has approved the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) in nine parishes -- Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. John the Baptist and St. Tammany.

• There have been a total of 108,831 pre-applications for DSNAP. Of these, 14,741 were submitted within the last 24 hours. A total of 51,210 pre-applications have been submitted in the parishes declared for DSNAP.

• Since Monday, United Way 211 has received 35,438 calls.

• The Louisiana Workforce Commission reports that 15,000 hot meals were served yesterday and 45,000 hot meals were served by faith-based groups.

Department of Transportation and Development:
• DOTD is anticipating returning the Edgard/Reserve ferry to service this afternoon.

• LA Swift, the bus service that provides coach bus rides between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, will resume service on Tuesday, September 4.

• To date, more than 215.9 miles of roadway have been cleared. DOTD crews have picked up 1,391 cubic yards of debris from across the affected areas and repaired 493 traffic signals across the affected areas.

• DOTD has hauled 6,850 sandbags, and 2,628 cubic yards of RAP/stone is being use for emergency relief efforts.

• DOTD is continuing with efforts to rebuild access to La. 1, between Port Fourchon and Grand Isle, by clearing marsh grass and placing stone. DOTD has used approximately 3,900 tons of crushed stone to assist with this effort.

• In Plaquemines Parish, DOTD will be clearing La. 23, which is currently impassable due to flooding, marsh grass and other debris.

• In St. John the Baptist, DOTD crews have cleared and opened all state routes and will begin clearing debris pushed from roadways as soon as water subsides.

Department of Health & Hospitals:
• Across the state, 80 nursing homes lost power. Power has been restored at 75 nursing homes, and five nursing homes are running on generator power. Across the state, 11 nursing homes evacuated. Seven have since returned and four are still evacuated.

• Since yesterday, there have been 9 net fewer nursing homes and 997 fewer residents residing in homes operating on generator power. 10 nursing homes returned to normal power operations.

• Across the state, 60 hospitals lost power. Power has been restored at all hospitals and no hospitals are running on generators.

• There are 226 ambulances in the state, as follows:
o 91 State ambulances
o 4 Contracted Support ambulances
o 111 Federal ambulances
o 20 Para transit vehicles

• DHH expects to close the LSU Fieldhouse today.

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority:
• CPRA has provided a total of 29 pumps to the parishes of Plaquemines, St. Charles, Lafourche, St. James, Jefferson and St. Tammany. This is a reduction of six from the 35 reported yesterday due to the return of 6 pumps from Lafourche Parish.

• Mechanics are en route to the St. John Airport Pump Station in the town of Reserve in St. John the Baptist Parish to repair two existing 60” pumps. CPRA may procure additional temporary pumping capacity to further assist the parish.

• CPRA is deploying damage assessment teams today to the following areas: Port Fourchon and Grand Isle.

• CPRA coordinated the delivery of 300 linear feet of sandbags to the sewage lift station in St. John. As of this morning, the water has receded 16” and conditions continue to improve.

• CPRA is preparing efforts to regulate a 200-foot opening that has developed in a back levee in the Braithwaite-Scarsdale area of Plaquemines Parish. This is different than the intentional breach that has been working effectively to lower floodwaters in those communities. To keep this newly-formed opening from developing into a greater flood risk, CPRA is working with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West (SLFPA-W) and the La. National Guard to arrange logistics for staging and airlifting 2,000-pound sandbags to be placed into the opening to prevent expansion and further degradation of that back levee as soon as floodwaters recede or conditions dictate.

• CPRA coordinated the delivery of 300 gallons of diesel fuel by airboat to power the generator supplying electricity to the LaPlace Park Pump Station on Sunday.

• CPRA continues to monitor the situation with the lock walls on the Pearl River Navigation Lock No. 2. As of this morning, the lock walls appear stable, and the Corps is continuing to drain the lock chamber to reduce stress on the lock walls.

• CPRA reports that there have been tar balls found on Elmer’s Island.

Division of Administration:
• To date, state agencies have spent $96 million and parishes have spent over $10.1 million.
• The state is submitting another $6 million to FEMA for reimbursement today.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry:
• The Department of Agriculture & Forestry is coordinating with the Guard to air drop round bales of hay to stranded cattle.
• The Department of Agriculture & Forestry has delivered 381,997 gallons of fuel.

Public Service Commission:
• There are roughly 124,000 outages, or six percent of the state.

• FEMA reports that there are five Disaster Recovery Centers open. To date, 64,861 people have registered for Individual Assistance, with $1,660,570 approved for housing assistance and $219,428 for other needs.

Department of Environmental Quality:
• The Department of Environmental Quality will have an overflight of the Mississippi River from river mile 40 to the Sunshine bridge, which will include assessment of the industrial facilities in St Charles and St. John Parishes.

Sheltering Assistance
BATON ROUGE, La - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at the request of the state of Louisiana, has activated its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, which allows eligible evacuees from Hurricane Isaac whose neighborhoods are not accessible or whose houses have been destroyed to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited time and have the cost of the room and taxes paid directly to the hotel by FEMA.
"Transitional Sheltering Assistance offers survivors temporary accommodations until other housing options can be identified and put in place," said Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall. "We are working closely with our state and local partners to develop a long-term housing solution to help Hurricane Isaac survivors until their homes and communities are repaired or rebuilt."
To be eligible for the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program, evacuees must meet the following criteria:
1. The primary residence must be in one of the parishes that has been designated a disaster area;
2. The primary residence is inaccessible or unlivable due to damage or lack of power; and
3. FEMA must be able to verify their identity.
The initial period of assistance is from Sept. 3 to Sept. 16, 2012. Meals, telephone calls and other incidental charges are not covered, and applicants are responsible for any lodging costs above the authorized allowance. The program does not reimburse previously incurred hotel expenses.
The first step for those impacted by Hurricane Isaac is to register for FEMA assistance online at or via smart phone at Applicants without Internet access or smart phone may also call 1-800-621-3362 or (TTY) 1-800-462-7585. If you use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services, call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week.
New Orleans update
NEW ORLEANS, LA--After reviewing usage statistics, the availabilty of retail stores that have reopened, and the percentage of power that has been restored to the area, the City and the National Guard will close two of the six Point of Distribution (POD) locations at 8:00 p.m. today. The New Orleans East and Tad Gormely Stadium sites will no longer be used for distribution.
The following four locations will remain open tomorrow:
• The Municipal Auditorium in Armstrong Park at 1451 Basin Street- NOTE: line up on Basin Street;
• Old Engine 31 in Venetian Isles at 4300 Alba Road
• 2730 Vespasian Blvd on the West Bank; and
• 700 Poland Avenue, the Port of Embarkation in the Bywater – NOTE: line up along Chartres Street.
The National Guard is continuing to operate the POD sites where citizens have been picking up critical supplies in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. POD sites are open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., or while daylight allows, until further notice. Sites will distribute water, ice, ready-to-eat meals (MREs) and tarps.
Individuals who drive up MUST remain in their vehicles to expedite the process. People without cars will be allowed to walk up to POD sites in a pedestrian lane.
The City is also closing the Dryades YMCA as an emergency cooling shelter. The St. Bernard Center at 1500 Lafreniere St. in Gentilly will continue to operate as an emergency cooling shelter.
Space is limited, so residents are asked to reserve space for those with the most critical needs, including the elderly, those with illnesses exacerbated by the heat, residents with children and residents with damage to their homes.
All persons should bring the following with them:
• Bedding, to include air mattress, blankets, pillows
• Snacks
• Medications
• Toiletries
• Baby/ Children’s supplies
• Hygiene Items
• Meals, if on a special diet
Drugs, Alcohol, Weapons, and Pets are not allowed in shelters.
Individuals who are electricity dependent or have medical needs and cannot care for themselves are asked to call 658-2500 to register for a separate medical special needs shelter in New Orleans.
State government
Due to continuing safety concerns following Hurricane Isaac, Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater announced that Louisiana state government offices will remain closed on Tuesday, September 4, in St. John the Baptist and Plaquemines parishes.
State offices in all other parishes will be open Tuesday. However, department heads should exercise discretion if they have a particular circumstance, such as a building without power, that necessitates employees not reporting to work within a parish that is reopened.
All agency heads are responsible for determining those essential personnel who should remain on duty or those who should report to alternative work sites if necessary.
This message will be emailed to state employees. In addition, state government employees should be aware of the following phone numbers to call, which will be updated with information regarding office closures and re-openings: 1-800-360-9660 or 225-342-0498.
For all the latest information on the storm, residents are encouraged to visit


• The 24th Judicial District Court will resume operations on a limited basis Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

• The Clerk of Court will receive new case filings and all emergency filings/orders at 1228 4th Street, Gretna, Louisiana, from September 4 through September 6, 2012. The telephone number for the temporary clerk’s office is 504/364-2894.

• Civil Cases:
• 1) A duty judge will be available to review and issue orders on all emergency non-domestic civil cases; and
• 2) A domestic commissioner will be available to review and issue orders on all emergency domestic filings.

• Criminal Cases:
• 1) A criminal commissioner will be available to set all bonds, review probable cause affidavits, and conduct first appearance hearings; and
• 2) All defendants with scheduled trials or hearings should report on the date assigned to the temporary clerk’s office to check-in and receive written notice for a new court date.

• The Collections Division will accept payments at 802 Second Street, Second Floor, as customary. Payments can be made by using GovPay.Net through the court's website:

• Drug Court is fully operational. All scheduled cases will be heard at 802 Second Street. All employees are expected to return to work in the drug court offices tomorrow, September 4, 2012.

St. Tammany property
St. Tammany Parish Assessor Patricia Schwarz Core is asking property owners who sustained damages related to Hurricane Isaac to notify her office. Properties that sustained significant flood or wind damage may be eligible for an assessment review that could lower their tax obligation. Any level of damage that may have an impact on a structure's value should warrant consideration.

The form is available at It can be printed from the website and faxed to 985.809.8190, or mailed to the Assessor's Office at 701 N. Columbia St., Covington, LA 70433. Documentation of damages and a visual inspection by Assessor's Office personnel will be required, but property owners need not submit photographs with the form. Those completing the review request should, however, keep photo documentation of any damages, and receipts for repair work or contractors.

Anyone unable to access the form online can call the Assessor at 985.809.8180 and she will arrange to have the form delivered. The office will resume regular hours on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
DHH and medical special needs shelters
-- The Department of Health and Hospitals has discharged patients from its medical special needs shelters (MSNS) in Baton Rouge and Hammond as it helps residents return closer to their communities. MSNS operations continue in New Orleans.
This is in addition to the Bossier and Alexandria shelters that stopped operating yesterday, Sept. 2.

The New Orleans Convention Center is currently caring for 47 patients and will remain open until further notice.

Medical special needs shelters provide refuge to individuals who may not be eligible for a general shelter because of their medical needs but do not require hospitalization. The shelters are a last resort, temporary living arrangement, providing care until the emergency is over and the parish of residence is safe.

City Hall and all City buildings will return to regular business operations starting tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4, 2012. All City employees are scheduled to return to normal working hours unless otherwise directed by your department head.
Please note that the City’s 311 hotline will close at 8:00 p.m. tonight and return to normal business hours, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. starting on Tuesday.
Lunch And Dinner to Be Provided
NEW ORLEANS, LA--Today, the American Red Cross announced it will offer free hot meals for lunch and dinner tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4, at seven locations across the city. The feeding stations will be providing food via stationary vehicles. Lunch will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Dinner will be served from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Meals will be served at the following locations:
• Sampson Park, 3101 Louisa Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70126 (Upper Ninth Ward)
• Stallings Center Park, 4300 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117 (Ninth Ward)
• Fire Engine 20, 425 Opelousas Avenue, New Orleans LA (Westbank)
• Norwood Thompson Playground, 7200 Forshey St., New Orleans, LA, 70125 (Hollygrove/Gert Town)
• McCue Park 2600 Eads St., New Orleans, LA, 70117 (Gentilly)
• A.L. Davis Playground, 2600 Lasalle St, New Orleans, LA 70113 (Central City)
• East Shore Park, 14600 Curran Road, New Orleans, Louisiana (New Orleans East)
Anticipated Reopening Monday, September 10, 2012

Jefferson Parish

Please monitor the Jefferson Parish website,, for alternate locations of services you may be seeking at the General Government Building in Gretna.


All government services will resume tomorrow at the Joseph S. Yenni Building, located at 1221 Elmwood Park Boulevard, on the East Bank.


Due to the impact of Isaac, all Jefferson Parish Head Start locations are closed until further notice.




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