BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):
A multi-agency warehouse has opened in Baton Rouge to assist in bringing in much needed donations and supplies to support the recovery efforts across the state.
Mike Steele, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, says the warehouse is being operated as a partnership with the state and the Louisiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. Steele says Adventist Community Services, a national and state VOAD partner, is managing the warehouse operations, supported by an AmeriCorps team.
He says the warehouse will allow a centralized intake point for donations from local community members as well as businesses across the country. Donations will then be distributed to support the efforts of nonprofits, shelters, and parishes as they respond to the needs in their communities.
Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa has canceled the annual balloon festival planned for Lamar-Dixon Expo Center next month citing the impact historic flooding has had on participants in the event.
He said the parish is committed to using the center for long-term disaster recovery.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/2buigND) Matassa told the Parish Council on Thursday night that more than half of the festival participants have been affected by the floods in Ascension and the rest of the Baton Rouge region.
The 2016 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival had been scheduled for Sept. 23 and 24 at the center off Louisiana Highway 30 and Interstate 10.
While the 247-acre center has served as a festival grounds, it also plays an important role in disaster recovery both locally and statewide. Parish officials said the center is housing 230 flood evacuees and about 800 stranded pets.
Ascension Parish government has significantly reduced its estimate of house flooding, one day after parish officials announced flooding had affected 30,000 to 40,000 homes.
Officials said Thursday revised numbers suggest 16,000 to 19,000 structures were affected to some extent, similar to earlier numbers released about the flooding after historic storms battered the Baton Rouge region.
In an email received by The Advocate (http://bit.ly/2c1gjLk), parish officials said they were revising their previous statement and the 30,000-to-40,000 homes figure represented only “potential” flooding impact, contradicting statements on Wednesday that in fact those homes were flooded to some extent.
Mike Steele, spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, said state officials believe the total statewide figure is sure to exceed 100,000 homes.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com