The worst of the flooding is over in Jefferson Davis Parish, but high water is still preventing some areas from being assessed, officials told state and federal damage assessment teams Tuesday. (Doris Maricle / American Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:38 AM
LAKE ARTHUR — The worst of the flooding is over in Jefferson Davis Parish, but high water is still preventing some areas from being assessed, officials told state and federal damage assessment teams Tuesday.
Parish Road Supervisor Owen Cormier said nearly a dozen roads were damaged by floodwaters, but that some are still unreachable. Most of the damage included potholes and road surface materials that were washed away by rising water, he said.
Cassidy Road of La. 14 and West Niblett Road off La. 99 remain closed because of high water. “There is still water on some of those roads, but it is going down slowly,” Cormier said.
Sonja McCoy, spokesperson for the parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, said 24 homes were damaged by flooding — mainly in the Castex Landing area just east of Jennings, Pom Roy Road west of Lake Arthur and the town of Lake Arthur. At least one home in Welsh was damaged by floodwaters.
Heavy damage has been reported in the southern part of Lake Arthur, just inside Vermilion Parish.
Mayor Robbie Bertrand said lingering floodwaters are making damage assessment harder in Lake Arthur.
“The water has not receded yet for us to assess some things,” he said.
Much of the concern is for the roads and beach area, he said.
“Some streets took a pounding, and we haven’t been able to repair them yet,” Bertrand said. “Before this happened the streets were in one condition; afterwards there is a lot of difference.”
The beach area of the town’s downtown park remained flooded Tuesday.Bertrand said cleanup has begun in other areas where floodwaters have receded.
Town clerk Cindy Mallett said the town incurred many expenses before, during and after the flooding, including supplies, overtime labor, equipment use, cleanup and fuel.
Emergency labor was used to help pump off the water and help secure the levees that were overtopped by floodwaters in several areas.
Drainage board and town officials are looking to increase the levee’s height by a foot to prevent backwater in areas considered too low.
An individual assessment of the parish’s damage — to include homes and other structures — was completed last week, according to Douglas Zettlemoyer, regional coordinator for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Teams from GOHSEP and FEMA, along with parish officials, began public assessments of parish roads, bridges, buildings, levees and other public property this week.
“The biggest thing we need to do today is go out and look at all the damage we can and to start with the worst-damaged roads,” GOHSEP disaster recovery liaison Marlys Sanders said.
The team will also assess the levees in the Lake Arthur area, she said.