St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center Parish Status Update

Thursday, September 8, 2005  5:00 PM

Citizens call 985-898-2323 for info; press contact PIO desk at 985-898-2860

 

BEGINNING AT 8:00 AM FRIDAY MORNING, ST. TAMMANY PARISH RESIDENTS ARE ALLOWED TO RETURN TO THE PARISH.  PARISH PRESIDENT KEVIN DAVIS, WITH THE COOPERATION OF ST. TAMMANY MAYORS, POLICE CHIEFS AND THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE, THANK ALL ST. TAMMANY PARISH RESIDENTS FOR THEIR PATIENCE.  AT THIS TIME, APPROXIMATELY 36% OF THE PARISH HAS POWER.  WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS ARE COMING BACK ON-LINE. 

 

RESIDENTS WHOSE HOMES ARE SAFE FOR OCCUPANCY MAY RETURN TO THEIR HOMES.   IF YOUR HOME WAS FLOODED OR RECEIVED MAJOR DAMAGE, DO NOT LIVE IN THE HOME.  YOU SHOULD RETURN TO THE PLACE TO WHICH YOU EVACUATED, STAY WITH A FRIEND OR RELATIVE, OR ENTER A RED CROSS SHELTER.  IF IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO MAKE CONTINGENCY PLANS BEFORE YOU ENTER THE PARISH, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO DO SO.

 

AS OF THIS MORNING, ALL ST. TAMMANY PARISH HOSPITALS HAVE POWER.   LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS HAVE THE PARISH UNDER CONTROL.   A CURFEW REMAINS IN PLACE FROM 9:00 PM TO 7:00 AM.

 

RESIDENTS IN THE LOW-LYING AREAS OF THE PARISH SHOULD BE PREPARED TO FACE MAJOR HOME DAMAGE OR POSSIBLE DEVASTATION.  MANY HOMES ARE DESTROYED IN OUR COASTAL AREAS.  DO NOT ATTEMPT TO LIVE OR CAMP OUT IN ANY OF THESE AREAS.  FLOOD WATERS CARRY MUD THAT CONTAINS CHEMICALS AND OTHER CONTAMINANTS THAT POSE SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS. 

 

GOOD NEWS:  The majority of the 9-1-1 system is now functioning.  For life threatening emergencies, call 9-1-1.  For storm related tasks or information, continue to call 898-2323.

 

RUMOR CONTROL:  Rumors continue to fly, especially on the internet.  Please do not repeat rumors.  Check our website, www.stpgov.org , or other official websites for accurate information.  It is also easier to get information on AM 730 Access St. Tammany radio.  Our wattage has been boosted.  Please listen for accurate information.  Portions of the broadcast are available for download from www.stpgov.org

 

NEWS:  The Slidell Sentry News and the Covington News Banner are now available on the internet at these sites:

www.slidellsentry.com and www.thenewsbanner.com.

 

ALCOHOL RESTRICTION BAN LIFTED, CURFEW STILL EFFECTIVE:

Effective at noon today, Thursday, September 8, the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in St. Tammany Parish is lifted.  A curfew is still in place from 9 pm to 7 am.  Violators shall be punished to the fullest extent of the law.  This is in the interest of public safety.  Residents are urged to stay home.  Sightseeing is forbidden

CLECO UPDATE:

As of 4:00 pm, CLECO reported that 36% of customers in St. Tammany Parish have had their power restored.  28,607 customers now have power, and 51,393 customers are still without power in St. Tammany Parish.  CLECO has an important message for those customers using generators.  Be sure to operate the generator in a well-ventilated area, away from combustible material.  Keep it free of oil, mud and other foreign matter.  Appliances should be plugged directly into portable generator with grounded extension cords that can handle the load.  Do not plug a generator directly into a wall outlet.  In addition, CLECO has announced that if there is any damage to a customer’s home or to the electrical service entrance that may pose a danger if power is restored, CLECO may not energize service to the home until repairs are made by a licensed electrician.  Crews will leave a door hanger indicating repairs need to be made.  St. Tammany Parish has waived its electrical inspection permits at this time.  Please have repair work conducted by a licensed electrician.  

 

WASHINGTON - ST. TAMMANY ELECTRIC UPDATE:

As of this morning, 6,700 customers in St. Tammany Parish have had their power restored.

 

 

BOIL WATER NOTICE:

Residents are requested to boil their water before drinking it.  We are continuing to check all water samples and will notify you when the water is safe to drink.

 

GARBAGE PICKUP:

The Parish is contacting local haulers to see who is operating.  The following haulers have these reports:

Ø       Coastal Waste Services is running their regular route.

Ø       Waste Management will work through the weekend to pick up garbage anywhere and everywhere.  They will resume their regular route next week.

Ø       JMS is running their regular route.

Ø       GSI is running their regular route.

We encourage all other haulers to run their regular routes as soon as possible.

 

TEMPORARY TRANSITIONAL HOUSING:

The Parish Planning Department staff is working with FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the American Red Cross with temporary transitional housing sites.

 

SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA UNIVERSITY:

SELU students are being asked to return to classes today.  In addition, SELU will offer a two-month “Term II” semester beginning October 20 primarily to assist students (from SELU and other universities) whose college studies have been interrupted by Hurricane Katrina.  The compressed two-month Term II semester will allow students to obtain some college credits if they cannot attend the entire fall semester.  Current SELU students are asked to check in online at www.selu.edu , by telephone 985-549-2000 or in person.  The University has begun processing applications from non-SELU students – most being from the New Orleans area - who are looking to continue their studies at SELU.  Southeastern will hold special sessions for displaced students on Saturday, September 10 at noon and Monday, September 12 at 4:30 pm at the Southeastern Student Union.  Students will be provided academic counseling, advice, and other information regarding application and registration.  Displaced students may also visit the university’s Office of Admissions in the North Campus Main Building located on West Tornado Drive off University Avenue in Hammond.  Information may be obtained by calling 985-549-2000.

 

BUSH RECEIVES DONATION OF FIRE ENGINE:

The 700-person community of North Salem, Indiana donated a fire engine to St. Tammany Parish Fire Protection District #9 in Bush.  The fire truck was delivered today with clothing, equipment, supplies, a full tank of gas and a monetary donation.  The refurbished 1978 Ford E-1 is capable of pumping 1250 gallons per minute from a hydrant and holds 1000 gallons in its booster tank.  The fire engine has already been placed in service.  We are very grateful for this generous donation from the North Salem community.

 

SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA SEARCH AND RESCUE NEEDS DONATIONS:

Member agencies need help replacing lost equipment, vehicles and supplies.  Some of them have lost everything.  All funds will be put to good use.  Ambulances, trucks, recreational vehicles, trailers, etc. are also needed.  Please call 985-626-1876, fax to 985-626-3493 or mail checks to Southeast Louisiana Search and Rescue, P. O. Box 1473, Mandeville, LA  70470.

 

HEALTH CAREOFFFICES OPEN:

Ø       LHC Group Home Health Care is open and operating.  Patients and doctors should call either 985-649-4990 or 800-649-4990.

Ø       Northshore Respiratory and Rehab is open 24/7 for emergency needs.  The home health agency provides home medical equipment such as oxygen, nebulizers, walkers, and accompanying supplies.  Northshore Respiratory and Rehab is licensed in Louisiana and Mississippi and located at 1222 Fremeaux, Suite A (behind Slidell Memorial Hospital).  The phone numbers are 985-781-4050, 985-788-1675 and 504-914-5741.

Ø       Dr. Aduli, Dr. Salam, M. Cramer,  APRN is open at 1203 S. Tyler Street, Suite E in Covington.  Call 985-871-6020.

 

REGINA COELI CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER:

All Regina Coeli Head Start, Migrant Head Start and Early Head Start staff will be paid on Friday, September 9.  All employees should report to work at their centers on Friday, September 9 where they may pick up their checks.  The following centers will be open Monday, September 12 at 8:00 am to serve children 0-6 years of age.  Services to be provided are: daily child care, early education activities for preschoolers, nutritional breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack, transportation from shelters to the centers, mental health counseling for children and families, and support services for families, as available.

Ø       Covington Early Head Start, 73134 E. Stadium Drive, Covington 985-893-0053 or 985-893-2792

Ø       Covington Head Start, 73060 E. Stadium Drive, Covington  985-892-8638 or 985-892-8626

 

SLIDELL SHELTER CONSOLIDATION:

The shelters at Bonne Ecole Elementary School, John Slidell Park and Clearwood Jr. High School have been consolidated to Northshore High School in Slidell.  This will allow military personnel assigned to the School Board to clean these schools for the anticipated opening date of October 3.

 

PUBLIC HEALTH/MOSQUITO CONTROL:  The Mosquito Control District treated about 22 thousand acres last night covering Military to Thompson Roads in the east, as well as Sun, Bush & the Abita Airport.  At dawn tomorrow they will spray west from the Thompson Rd area toward Mandeville.  Because many towers no longer have power, it is not safe for the pilots to be airborne during the night.  Mosquito spraying will take place from 5:00 AM to 6:30 AM until further notice.   Use a bug repellant with DEET to prevent mosquito bites. 

 

PUBLIC SAFETY ALERTS:  St. Tammany Parish Fire District No. 1 reports that they are responding to two major structure fires daily.  Citizens need to turn off electric main circuit breakers if they are in their home and have not yet had power restored.  This will prevent surging and possible fires.  Be careful with the use of candles.  Never leave a candle unattended in a room. 

 

The burning of debris is still banned in the interest of public safety.

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT & FIRE DISTRICT:  St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office hopes to complete Search & Rescue operations tomorrow.    St. Tammany Parish, including municipalities, is under control.  Our law enforcement agencies have done a great job keeping the peace. 

 

BEWARE:  Individuals who may, or may not, be licensed to do repair and/or clean up work are entering the parish.  Do business with reputable, licensed contractors.  Take a photo of your contractor and get identification.  Check and re-check all references.  Remember that you will have to live with the repair work that you will have done for many years.  Do your repairs safely and properly.

 

SANITATION:  Parish President Kevin Davis announced this morning that over 29 dumpsters are now in place across St. Tammany Parish.  He has arranged with a second contractor to bring the remaining dumpsters we ordered into the parish.  Use these dumpsters for household garbage only.  Do not use these dumpsters for debris, lawn care, etc.  It is important to remove the garbage for public health reasons.

 

Sewer treatment plants and the movement of sewage to the plants are a serious issue at this time.  Please be conservative in your use of this utility until it is powered.

 

TRANSPORTATION:

All bridges over Lake Pontchartrain are closed until further notice.  There is no access to the south shore from St. Tammany Parish, except for limited emergency personnel, at this time.

 

REPEAT:  ROAD CLOSURE:  The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development will close the US Hwy 90 Bridge over the East Pearl, at the Mississippi state line, from Thursday to Saturday for repairs.  It is expected to open Saturday the 10th by 6:00 PM.  Please use I-10 to travel east to Mississippi.

 

 SCHOOL NEWS:  

Superintendent Gayle Sloan reported to the Parish President that is the public school system’s goal to begin classes on Monday, October 3rd.  The St. Tammany Parish School Board Internet website is up and running, and now includes a FAQ section to answer questions.  Visit it at www.stpsb.org.

 

SUPPLIES:

Water and ice are available from 7 am to 8 pm at the following FEMA distribution centers:

OLD WAL-MART, I-10 & GAUSE BLVD., SLIDELL

TARGET, I-12 & HWY. 21 COVINGTON

CAVENHAM PARK, HWY. 41, PEARL RIVER

 

The following items are available at these faith-based shelters:

GRACE MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH, E. GAUSE BLVD. & PEARL ST., SLIDELL

                Showers!!!!!!!

                Hot Meals

                Non-perishable food

                Water & beverages

                Baby products

                Hygiene products

                Clothing

HARVEST CHURCH, PONTCHARTRAIN DRIVE, SLIDELL:

                Hot meals            

Non-perishable food

                Water & beverages

                Baby products

                Hygiene products

TAMMANY OAKS CHURCH OF CHRIST, HIGHWAY 59, MANDEVILLE

                Non-perishable food

                Water & beverages

                Baby products

                Hygiene products

                Some clothing

HOLY TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH, HIGHWAY 21, COVINGTON

Non-perishable food

                Water & beverages

                Baby products

                Hygiene products

                Some clothing

 

ST. TAMMANY RADIO INFORMATION:

St. Tammany parish emergency operations is broadcasting live reports on our recovery from Hurricane Katrina.  Tune in to access St. Tammany radio, AM 730 on your radio dial for coverage. 

 

ROADS/ ELECTRIC POWER:

Cleco has all main transmission lines and substations in St Tammany and its service area around Franklinton in Washington Parish live. Link to Cleco and WST websites from the www.stpgov.org home page for up to date power information.

 

SHELTER/HOT MEALS INFORMATION:

Red Cross is serving meals twice a day from 11:30 A.M. TO 1 P.M., and from 5 P.M. until 6:30 P.M. at all shelter locations:

Pineview Middle School, Covington

Abita Springs Middle School, Abita Springs

Fifth Ward Junior High School, Pearl River

Sixth Ward Elementary School, Pearl River

Riverside Elementary School, Pearl River

North Shore High School, Slidell

Bayou Lacombe Middle School, Lacombe

William Pitcher Junior High School (FULL), Covington

Creekside Junior High School  (FULL), Pearl River

Pearl River High School (FULL), Pearl River

In addition to the shelters, meals are also being served at:

Boston Street across from the Old Courthouse, Covington

Slidell Memorial Hospital Founder’s Building, Slidell

 

Additional fixed sites will be announced as soon as they are available.

The Red Cross desperately needs Mental Health Professionals and Nurses.  If you can help, please visit their local emergency headquarters at the old courthouse on Boston Street in Covington.

 

For help locating missing persons, phone 1-866-GET-INFO (438-4636).

 

FOOD STAMPS:

The Disaster Food Stamp Program is in effect until 6:00 p.m. Monday, September 12.   Every person in need of food stamps is expected to be eligible under the program (only two people have been turned away so far.)  If you are unable to access your normal monthly income due to loss of job, bank closure, social security checks not being received, etc., you could be eligible for the Disaster Food Stamp Program because everyone has met the requirements of (1) having lost food and (2) plans on purchasing food. 

Applicants should go to the LA Dept. of Social Services Food Stamp office at 71040 Highway 21
(Tyler Street) in Covington.  It is located on the east side of Highway 21, near the Lutheran Church.  No location is available in Slidell at this time.  Applicants will fill out an application and be told the date and time they should return to the office to pick up the food stamps. 

Applicants are required to bring the following documents:

Ø       Photo identification

Ø       Proof of residence at the time the hurricane hit

Ø       Proof of current address after the hurricane

 

After Monday, September 12, the regular Food Stamp Program will be reinstated and food stamp allotments will be reduced to normal levels.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT:

The Louisiana Department of Labor is now accepting phone calls to make a claim for unemployment.  The number to call is 1-866-783-5567.  Baton Rouge and other areas not affected by Hurricane Katrina are open.  Also, if you have evacuated out of state, you can apply for assistance in the state you are in.

 

MEDICAL SHELTER:

Individuals seeking medical assistance, but who do not qualify for the special needs shelter, are urged to evacuate, if at all possible, to the LSU Field House in Baton Rouge. LSU’s Emergency Hotline is 800-578-4636