Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Very interesting update from LA State House Rep Steve Scalise

Steve Scalise’s Hurricane Katrina Update for Wednesday, September 28, 2005

New Orleans Reentry Plan: At our weekly meeting with Mayor Nagin today at the Capitol he just outlined the City’s plan for reentry. It will be as follows:
- Beginning Thursday morning businesses can continue entering the following targeted ZIP codes: 70114, 70131, 70116, 70115, 70118, 70130, 70112, and 70113.
- Starting Friday residents in these targeted ZIP codes will be allowed back in to inspect their property. They will be allowed to stay if they desire, but people are encouraged to leave at sunset.
- If a red sticker is on your home that means the City’s inspectors determined your house is a structural hazard and you should get it inspected before you enter.
- Beginning Wednesday, October 5th ALL residents will have full access to the entire City WITH THE EXCEPTION of the lower 9th Ward.

Water on the Westbank is drinkable. The Eastbank’s water is under a boil order but it is now safe to shower. Officials encourage returning residents to run their hot and cold water for about 10 minutes prior to using it in order to flush out their systems. They are hoping to have drinkable water on the Eastbank by the end of next week.
Power has been fully restored to Algiers, and most of the CBD, French Quarter. Uptown should be energized by the end of the week. Restoration progress can be viewed at

Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) is hosting a “Back to Business Briefing” for area companies to get information on business recovery assistance. Representatives from JEDCO, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and other organizations will be on hand to address concerns and answer questions. The meeting will be held this Thursday, September 29th from 4-6pm at the Radisson Hotel in Kenner, 2150 Veterans Blvd (near Williams Blvd.). It will be in the Bayou Room on the 1st floor and is free of charge.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Last week I met with a representative of the NFIP. There were a number of questions, and he said up front that many coverage-related questions would depend on each policy. The questions he did address dealt with the ability to rebuild and provide flood insurance in the future. Decisions on changes in building codes will ultimately be up to local government officials. He said that the NFIP will continue to write flood insurance policies in the future. As long as a homeowner is in compliance with local building codes they will be able to purchase flood insurance. There are also caps that prevent them from increasing premium rates by more than 10% in any given year. Another important item we discussed was a program they have that allows homeowners who had flood insurance to obtain up to $30,000 in grant money to raise the elevation to the current flood plane if they need to rebuild.

Lake Pontchartrain: I spoke with the head of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation Carlton Dufrechou last week. He had some very encouraging news about the status of the Lake that is similar to positive reports by the Department of Environmental Quality. Testing is being done by his organization as well as a number of governmental agencies. Results performed since Hurricane Katrina show levels not much higher than pre-Katrina levels. The area most affected by the water pumped out of New Orleans is the first mile of the Lake from the 17th Street Canal heading east. He is very optimistic that the Lake will heal itself and the water quality should return to its normal levels within 6 months.
Earlier this week I was able to partially open my Legislative office. If you have any questions or issues we can help with feel free to contact me at (504)888-9899.

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