News for Wednesday 082416
By Dave Graichen
The National Hurricane Center is keeping its eye on three tropical systems in the Atlantic, and one of them has the potential of getting into the Gulf of Mexico. State climatologist Barry Keim says the disturbance is currently called Invest 99.Keim says this system is moving towards Puerto Rico and the Bahamas.
President Barack Obama spent the day touring a flood damage neighborhood in East Baton Rouge parish that were inundated by the flood waters. In a press conference, the President shared the heartwarming stories he heard of neighbors helping neighbors. He says Louisiana will have all the federal support it needs for as long as it takes. He says FEMA is working around the clock to find temporary housing for those that have been displaced.
During his stop in Baton Rouge, the President also met with Alton Sterling’s family, the black man who was killed in a confrontation with two white officers. The President also meet with the families of the officers killed or injured in last month’s ambush.
After President Obama visited Louisiana, he left with a better understanding of this 1,000 year flood and a letter from Governor John Bel Edwards asking for help. The Governor’s Communications Director, Richard Carbo, Governor Edwards gave the President of a list of aid requests that includes assistance for flood victims and money to improve flood. He says Louisiana is also looking to reduce the costs the state will have to absorb for responding to the disaster.
Former Governor Kathleen Blanco is concerned the lack of housing for flood victims could result in people moving out of the state to live with family members elsewhere. She says even those with flood insurance are struggling. Blanco says this will not be an overnight recovery and rebuilding will cost billions of dollars. Blanco says getting additional resources from Congress could be a tough sell, because three members of Louisiana’s Congressional delegation voted against a relief package to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Professionals in Louisiana’s film industry are available to help in the recovery process from the historic flood. President of Film Production Capital, Will French, says the state’s film industry is down 85-percent, which means carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and other skilled workers are unemployed. French says this is a way to help both flood victims and film industry workers.
The Good Samaritans, members of the Cajun Navy, who rescued hundreds, maybe thousands of people during the Great Flood of 2016 not happy after a state lawmaker’s announcement that he wants government regulations on future actions by the citizen heroes. Republican State Senator Jonathan Perry of the Vermillion, Lafayette area, is working on legislation that could require training, certificates and a permit fee to allow these Good Samaritans to get past law enforcement into devastated areas. You can expect to hear a lot about this in the coming days.
More than 5-thousand online fundraising campaigns have been set up on GoFundMe to help flood victims in Louisiana. GoFundMe CEO, Rob Solomon says First Lady Donna Edwards is helping to raise money for teachers who lost everything in their classrooms. He also says celebrities, like the Voice’s Meg Linsey, have created GoFundMe campaigns.
First Lady Donna Edwards is working with the Louisiana School Board Association to assist flood damaged schools with repairs and supplies. LSBA Executive Director Scott Richard says at this point, about 20 schools were severely damaged during the rainstorm.
Richard says the biggest problem is teachers and school employees are struggling to find an actual place to live. He says they created the campaign to help local school districts. Visit the LSBA Fund for Restoring Schools GoFundMe page to donate.
Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Chuck Carr Brown signs an emergency order that’s designed to expedite the process of cleaning up debris in flooded neighborhoods in the 20-parish area affected by the recent severe weather. DEQ spokesperson Greg Langley says the order expands the range of debris that can be accepted by certain landfills.
A new WalletHub study ranks Louisiana as the fifth worst state for women's equality in the workplace. Louisiana ranks ahead of only Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Utah, the latter of which is ranked the worst. The study considered factors such as pay disparities, the number of female executives compared to the number of male executives in each state, work hours and political representation.