News for Friday 082616
By Dave Graichen
Forecasters are watching a broad area of low pressure near the Bahamas that continues to track northeast towards Florida. State Climatologist Barry Keim says conditions with this system are expected to become more favorable for it to develop into a tropical storm by the weekend. The good news is, a hurricane hunter aircraft late yesterday found the system weakened in the past day.
FEMA owned temporary housing units are returning to Louisiana for flood victims who are in the process of rebuilding their homes. Governor John Bel Edwards says these trailer units are different from what we saw after Hurricane Katrina and there is one big catch to getting one.
Edwards says the FEMA housing units are only available for those who do not live in a flood plain. The person’s yard must also be large enough to accommodate the trailer.
Governor John Bel Edwards visited Youngsville in Lafayette Parish yesterday and he also spent some time in the Jefferson Davis Parish town of Lake Arthur. Edwards told flood victims in Youngsville that they’ll seek assistance from Congress to help homeowners who did not have flood insurance. In Lake Arthur, the governor learned about the man-made levee that was built to protect the town from the rising Mermentau River.
The state department of children and family services announced today disaster food stamp locations for Ascension, Acadia, East Baton Rouge and Lafayette will open next week. Many are wondering why the delay. Officials with the DCFS blames a lack of manpower.
State agencies are severely understaffed at a time when people need them the most. West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth says during tough budget times, there were employment cutbacks at the Department of Children and Family Services and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, because Louisiana hasn’t seen a hurricane in several years.
Walsworth says Louisiana is the most disaster prone state in the nation, and we need to be prepared for these kinds of events. He says they may need to look into training state retirees in case of emergencies.
Triple-A warns motorists looking to purchase a used car to beware of flood damaged vehicles for sale. Spokesperson Don Redman says usually damaged cars are quickly moved further away from the devastated areas as early as one week after the disaster. He says be careful when buying a car off of Craigslist or resale sites. Redman recommends getting a Carfax report to learn about the vehicle’s history.
After the agriculture businesses took a $110 million hit from the flood, crawfish farmers will have to wait to see how much their harvest was affected. LSU AgCenter aquaculture specialist, Mark Shirley, says some fields that were only flooded for a day or two should be alright. But he says fields that had more water could see some losses.
Some people have suggested that if the Comite River Diversion Project in East Baton Rouge Parish had been completed, the flooding wouldn’t have been so severe. But the Army Corps of Engineers says that’s not the case. Deputy District Commander Mark Wingate says the project would only have helped a small part of the affected region. Wingate says the project would have helped on the Comite River, but not the Amite or other rivers in the basin that also flooded. The Comite project would cost upwards of $220 million. Wingate says what they need is a system wide approach to prevent flooding in the region. He says flood mitigation projects are also needed along the Amite River and Bayou Manchac.
Two Arkansas men have been arrested after posting a video on SnapChat that shows them slitting a pit bull’s throat. They heinous crime was committed in Bastrop. Boots Stanley and Steven Sadler of Ashley County, Arkansas, have been booked into the Morehouse parish jail on charges of aggravated cruelty to an animal and conspiracy.