LIVINGSTON - The Livingston Parish Council may amend a new ordinance aimed at keeping burial vaults secure in the ground, an ordinance adopted after last summer's flood displaced close to 200 of them in the parish.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Leaders in East Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes said Tuesday that workers were picking up debris in ditches, off sidewalks and clearing drainage canals in one precautionary step as Tropical Storm Cindy looms and reawakens concerns about the f…
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Istrouma High School is reopening Aug. 9, but its sixth-to-eighth-graders will spend the first semester of the new school year somewhere else, dashing hopes that all of Istrouma's students could arrive at the renovated north Baton Rouge school at …
Sunday, June 18, 2017
ST. AMANT — Work is underway to restore St. Amant Primary, the first of the five severely flood-damaged Ascension Parish schools to see repairs begin almost a year after the devastating rains of last August.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Louisiana landlords with rental houses walloped by 2005's Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were eventually promised state help to rebuild: If they could get loans to rehab their properties, the state government would later reimburse them.
Friday, June 16, 2017
ST. AMANT — Dalton Vicknair waited Friday morning for a siding company truck to show up at his home on Huntington Drive in southern Ascension Parish.
Monday, June 12, 2017
A Baton Rouge contractor accused of defrauding victims of the August flooding in three parishes pleaded not guilty Monday in East Baton Rouge Parish to four counts of residential contractor fraud and one count of filing or maintaining false public…
Friday, June 09, 2017
Citing passages from the Bible that call for turning the other cheek, loving one’s neighbor and doing right in the eyes of the Lord, Baton Rouge contractor Matthew Morris asked his subcontractors to show compassion toward homeowners Morris is accu…
Monday, June 05, 2017
Dealing with a government agency like FEMA, you're sure to get "your skirt a little ruffled." Hence, the name of John Schneider's new album, "Ruffled Skirts."
Sunday, June 04, 2017
When the rain kept coming last August and sent East Baton Rouge Parish government workers into overdrive as they helped with the immediate responses to widespread flooding, only one city-parish agency paid its high-level managers for the overtime …
More than 2,200 volunteers from across the country and around the world will get a taste of Acadian culture this week as they aid Lafayette Parish residents still recovering from the August 2016 floods.
Friday, June 02, 2017
Nearly 10 months after August's historic floods put BREC'S Howell Community Park under eight feet of water, the park in north Baton Rouge is reopening to the public this weekend.
Thursday, June 01, 2017
Already under indictment in Ascension and Livingston parishes, jailed Baton Rouge contractor Matthew Morris was accused Thursday by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury of defrauding residents in the wake of August's unprecedented flooding.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
More than nine months after catastrophic floods damaged thousands of homes across south Louisiana, the first signs of the state's major housing recovery efforts are starting to show.
Federal assistance paying for Louisiana flood victims to stay in hotel and motel rooms came to an end Wednesday, with the 73 families still relying on the temporary shelter told they had to move on.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
BAKER — The Baker School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a contract with Manning Architects of New Orleans to renovate Baker High School, which was damaged during the historic flooding in August.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Even as neighboring Livingston Parish is planning to cut 40 positions to deal with the loss of students after August's flooding, East Baton Rouge Parish, which lost an even greater percentage of its students, is opting to draw from budget reserves…
Thursday, May 25, 2017
A recent ban on ground-level burial vaults in Livingston Parish cemeteries may be amended after impassioned pleas Thursday from residents who said the regulation violates their religious beliefs and creates financial hardships.
Sunday, May 21, 2017
While working toward rebuilding three campuses still shuttered by the August flood, Livingston Parish school officials are facing another hurdle as they prepare for the next academic year: a significant drop in student population that will trigger…
The floods of 2016 didn't just swamp houses and businesses across swaths of Louisiana, but also hurt many people who lost income because of job disruptions, according to a new Community Resilience Study conducted by LSU's Manship School of Mass Co…
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Louisiana will receive another $51.4 million in federal flood recovery dollars raising the state's total allocation to about $1.7 billion, according the U.S. Housing and Urban Development.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Total damage from the August flooding is likely to cost the East Baton Rouge Parish school system between $75 million and $100 million, according to newly released figures.
A state Senate panel on Monday advanced a resolution that would assert more legislative oversight over the nearly $1.7 billion in federal aid Louisiana has received to aid the recovery from last year's catastrophic floods.
A senior housing development is being planned for Gardere Lane, with the East Baton Rouge Parish Housing Authority's development arm billing the project as a way to help vulnerable seniors, especially those affected by the August floods, while the…
Friday, May 12, 2017
Louisiana leaders are ramping up flood recovery programs this month to help homeowners rebuild, assist small business owners and add to the rental housing stock in the wake of last year's historic floods.
Thursday, May 11, 2017
To get the word out about assistance that's available to people affected by last year's historic floods, Gov. John Bel Edwards has turned to someone who has no trouble getting people's attention.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The state will be hosting a series of events this month to help flood-affected homeowners complete the initial survey required to apply for the Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program.
Friday, May 05, 2017
Baton Rouge will serve as the test site for a program designed to convert hundreds of temporary FEMA workers into reservists — creating a ready-made response team prepared to tackle any future disasters in this area.
An extension has been granted until Sept. 1 for victims of the August flood who had flood insurance to file their proof-of-loss claims, which help determine how much money they receive for repairs.
Thursday, May 04, 2017
GONZALES — Residents of a Gonzales street that has repeatedly flooded since its first houses were built in the mid-1980s — and which suffered the same fate in the August flood — may be eligible for a federal home buyout program that would transfor…
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
The firm that built a more than 3-mile section of a concrete Interstate 12 median barrier from Juban Crossing to La. 447 in Walker claims it is not legally responsible for the August flooding that swamped that area of Livingston Parish.
Victims of the August flood who had flood insurance will likely receive more time to file their proof-of-loss claims, which help determine how much money they receive for repairs.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
BAKER — The School Board will begin reviewing designs and deciding whether to rebuild or renovate Baker High School later this month.
Monday, May 01, 2017
Rep. Valarie Hodges, a Denham Springs Republican whose home flooded during the historic August floods, has added a clause to the proposed state spending plan that would take flood aid for homeowners and put it toward a project meant to prevent fut…
Louisiana would receive less than $400 million in additional flood recovery funds under a spending proposal Congress is mulling this week.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
DENHAM SPRINGS — The compliance director of the state's contractor licensing board said the agency is doing everything it can to keep up with the number complaints that have poured into the office since the floods of last year.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Gov. John Bel Edwards has joined the governors of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia in a bipartisan call on Congress to provide for disaster recovery aid as it puts together a federal government spending measure this week.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The ink is finally dry on the state's contract to manage $1.3 billion in federal assistance for a home rebuilding program and the estimated price tag for North Carolina-based IEM has been tabulated at $308 million.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Victim's of August's flood shouldn't worry about their flood insurance rates increasing for the next several years, until flood hazard maps are updated, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Roughly 400,000 of Louisiana’s flood insurance policyholders could see cheaper prices and better coverage if Congress makes it easier later this year for insurers to sell private flood coverage, industry experts say.
Cynthia Britton choked back tears as she waited at the Main Library on Goodwood Boulevard on Saturday clutching a photo of her granddaughter Alexis.
More than 80,000 homes in Louisiana were damaged last year by floods in March and August. Across the Baton Rouge area, families are returning to restored houses swamped by the August waters. But many others are just getting started or remain stalled.
When Michelle Green returned in August to her home in Greenwell Springs, she was greeted by more than the already-bad-enough four feet of floodwater that destroyed her kids' toys and wrecked keepsakes from her husband.
Friday, April 21, 2017
Old Jefferson is a study in contrasts. Move away from the brick homes fronted by pristine lawns near Jefferson Highway and the lingering effects of August's floods can readily be seen from the street.
A large, concrete canal known as Hurricane Creek snakes southward through the heart of north Baton Rouge, flowing past Will Smith’s one-story home on Linden Street. Eight months ago, after record rains, water surged out of the canal into Smith’s house.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Acknowledging he opted too late to seek community input, East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Warren Drake on Thursday removed controversial proposals to merge schools in the Capitol, Broadmoor and Glen Oaks areas, allowing easy passage of a lar…
An ugly feud between two of Louisiana's most prominent elected leaders tasked with the state's flood recovery reached a fever pitch Thursday, with both camps expressing utter exasperation and accusing each other of hurting the victims of 2016's hi…
A losing firm that bid on the state's lucrative flood recovery contract filed a protest Thursday after another company won the contract with a more expensive price.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
The East Baton Rouge Parish Library is hosting free photo restoration Friday and Saturday to give flood victims the opportunity to salvage important and family photos damaged in August's flood.
Louisiana leaders are hoping that by the end of this month, the state will have an additional $2 billion in federal aid for the state's recovery from last year's historic floods.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Two $20 million contracts to maintain and eventually deactivate nearly 4,350 FEMA mobile homes set up in Louisiana after last year's floods are on hold for at least a month and possibly until mid-July after three companies protested the bid awards…
Thursday, April 13, 2017
IEM, a North Carolina-based disaster management company, has for a second time been awarded the contract to oversee the state's $1.6 billion flood recovery plan, after previously winning and then being stripped of the contract in a botched bid pro…
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Louisiana lawmakers on Wednesday aired their frustrations over the state's recovery from last year's historic floods and the aid that's being provided to its victims.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The following is a partial transcript of Gov. John Bel Edwards' meeting with The Advocate editorial board and Capitol bureau on Monday, April 10. The hour-long meeting has been lightly edited for content and clarity.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Nearly eight months after historic floods swept across south Louisiana, the state has been granted access to the federal funds it needs to establish programs meant to help homeowners rebuild.
The Louisiana governor's office is warning flood victims not to fall prey to people trying to seek money in exchange for help with the state's new online survey system.
Homeowners affected by the historic floods that swept Louisiana in March and August can now begin the initial application process for the state's upcoming housing recovery programs.
Saturday, April 08, 2017
Friday, April 07, 2017
Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration accused a Baton Rouge congressman Thursday of spreading myths about flood recovery money and leading a partisan effort that could harm Louisiana's long-term rebuilding.
Thursday, April 06, 2017
Among ladders and power tools, groups of people posed Thursday with massive checks and discussed how they plan to use both the money and equipment for flood recovery work.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Tears of joy and relief flowed Saturday as more than 100 ardent quilters gathered at a Baton Rouge church to pick up donated sewing machines and supplies to replace materials lost in August's floods.
Tension over Louisiana's recovery from last year's catastrophic floods became the focus of a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, with Republican congressmen repeatedly taking aim at Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Sunday, April 02, 2017
At the very front of the parking lot of Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters, on the corner of Airline Highway and Connells Village Lane, there is what appears to be a police car graveyard. Do these cars just sit in the lot until they're sol…
When the deadline hit for Livingston Parish and Denham Springs businesses to renew their occupational licenses last year, just about all of them did. This year, roughly 1 out of every 5 did not file renewals — another troubling sign of the scale o…
Saturday, April 01, 2017
Tears of joy and relief flowed Saturday as more than 100 ardent quilters gathered at a Baton Rouge church to pick up donated sewing machines and supplies to replace materials lost in August's floods.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Louisiana has inched a few steps closer to getting its hands on a sorely needed federal appropriation of $1.6 billion for victims of August's floods. But it's still unclear when the money will become available, and the discrepancy over the timelin…
Thursday, March 30, 2017
For the first time in five years, more Louisiana residents believe the state is heading in the right direction than those who think it's moving in the wrong direction, a new poll shows.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration Wednesday attempted to tamp down concerns over the status of the state's search for a contractor to oversee housing recovery programs following last year's historic floods.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
An unlicensed contractor accused of doing incomplete and improper work on a flooded home in East Baton Rouge was arrested Monday on a felony count of residential contractor fraud.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy on Monday took a shot at Gov. John Bel Edwards and his aides for what he called a "Three Stooges-like performance" overseeing the state's $1.6 billion recovery program for flood victims.
Monday, March 27, 2017
DENHAM SPRINGS — Citing the difficulty of rebuilding after the August flood, City Councilman Chris Davis is resigning from office effective Friday.
It had been seven months since John Huner had seen many of his friends. But Monday, he sat with two of his fellow 'active older adults' in the lobby of the CB Pennington Jr. YMCA on Old Hammond Highway, a cup of hot coffee resting on his walker an…
Saturday, March 25, 2017
In a sign of how a major disaster can change a community, all students in public schools in Livingston Parish and Central are on track to receive free breakfast and lunch through 2021.
Friday, March 24, 2017
A nonprofit, faith-based organization announced Friday that it will lead rebuilding efforts for Lafayette flood victims this summer and called for donations and help from the local community.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
A Slidell man is accused of abandoning work on a flooded Baton Rouge home after accepting nearly $50,000 from the homeowner, according to a Baton Rouge police report.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking the Trump administration to consider the impact that the Republican president's budget proposal could have on Louisiana's flood recovery efforts and projects that could prevent future natural disasters for the state.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
A company seeking a lucrative contract to run housing recovery programs following last years catastrophic floods is taking legal action to try to stop the state from scrapping its initial solicitation of bids.
With more than 45,000 flood victims still living with relatives, the state Tuesday launched a statewide effort to find property owners and landlords who can provide short and long term housing.
Friday, March 17, 2017
Seven months after devastating floods destroyed or damaged tens of thousands of homes in metro Baton Rouge, contractors and suppliers say the snail's pace of rebuilding is finally getting a bit better.
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Some Baton Rouge flood victims are still living in their garages. Others have been victimized twice: first by the flood and then by robbers seeking what little they have left. And a few are still concerned about flooding from poorly maintained ditches.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Baton Rouge police detectives arrested a Denham Springs contractor for allegedly taking deposits and payments from two homeowners and then never completing the work on their homes.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Although she lost everything when her home flooded with three and a half feet of water in August, Yolanda Jernigan says she feels rich, but with relationships and memories rather than material things.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
After struggling for months to identify remains and to reinter dozens of caskets and vaults upended by the August flood, Livingston Parish officials on Thursday proposed new regulations for burials in the parish’s cemeteries.
More than a year before authorities across the Baton Rouge area accused contractor Matthew Morris of defrauding over two dozen clients with homes ruined by the August flood, Donna and Doug Cox filed a 92-page complaint with the state Attorney Gene…
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
As those who lost cell service during the August flood can attest, a phone line is a lifeline amidst a crisis.
Monday, March 06, 2017
The federal government has now spent more than $300 million fixing health centers, schools and other public facilities damaged in last summer's flood.
Thursday, March 02, 2017
East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Warren Drake is asking the School Board for feedback at a retreat Saturday on a series of changes that would close, reconfigure, merge or relocate a dozen schools.
Southern Louisiana just experienced the warmest February in history, with the average temperatures in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Lafayette breaking record highs for the month, according to the National Weather Service.
Half a foot of water destroyed thousands of books at the Greenwell Springs library in August, and though repairs are still underway, librarians are preparing to reopen to the public Friday morning.
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Rural families that have been feeling particularly run down since the August flood may be getting sick from contaminated wells.
This year's Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade turned Baton Rouge's devastating August floods into cause for laughter on Saturday, with flamingo-themed floats satirizing FEMA, politicians and the red tape for flood victims trying to rebuild.
Saws hum, hammers pound and wheelbarrows squeak in the middle of the day in neighborhoods near Clay Cut Bayou in southeast Baton Rouge, where evidence of the August floods still tarnishes many lawns.
Friday, February 24, 2017
A federal law could delay the start of repairs to homes damaged in the 2016 floods – even stop those already underway – if the rehabilitations are being paid for by much of that recovery money Louisiana officials are hustling around Washington to get.
LIVINGSTON — A state district judge in Livingston Parish has set bail at $780,000 for a Baton Rouge contractor facing more than three dozen counts of defrauding homeowners and contracting without a license in that parish.
GONZALES — Ascension Parish President Kenny Matassa left for Washington, D.C., Friday on a five-day trip to pitch federal agencies and the state’s congressional delegation on the need for three regional drainage projects and a host of other top dr…
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Baton Rouge contractor Matthew Morris has again been arrested on fraud, this time in Walker following similar arrests this month in Ascension Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish and Denham Springs.
GONZALES — Parish consulting engineer Michael Songy concluded Thursday that a new parish analysis of the August flood suggests the parish’s elevation standards for new construction are sufficient for much of the parish.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
The owner of a Baton Rouge construction company accused committing post-flood contractor fraud in Ascension Parish was back in jail in East Baton Rouge Parish for allegedly ripping off a 67-year-old woman in a storm repair deal back in 2014.
Monday, February 20, 2017
The owner of a Baton Rouge construction company accused of committing post-flood contractor fraud in Ascension Parish is wanted on similar allegations in Livingston Parish, Walker and Baton Rouge but remained at large Monday.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
GEISMAR – The Geismar Volunteer Fire Department station on La. 73, one of seven out of 11 fire stations that flooded in Ascension Parish, has regained a semblance of normalcy.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
The East Baton Rouge Parish School Board agreed Thursday to seek bids for almost $16 million worth of flood-related repairs to five schools, including Glen Oaks High School, as well as repairs to an administrative center.
The state's plan for putting $438 million from Congress toward recovery from last year's historic flooding has won approval from the federal agency that administers the money.
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Half a year after devastating floods swamped homes and businesses, hundreds of Louisiana families are still living in hotel rooms.
The federal government's flood insurance program has yet to pay out on hundreds of policies on buildings that flooded in August, FEMA said.
More than 600 families in the the Baton Rouge area are still living in hotels after last August's flood.
Monday, February 13, 2017
ST. AMANT – For the past six months, St. Amant High students have carried on the school year at Dutchtown High School, beginning their classes around noon and ending a little after 5 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
A lovable Labrador retriever mix displaced after the August flood in Baton Rouge has found happiness with his new owner, a player for the Cleveland Browns, according to a report.
Janet Torres hasn't lived under the same roof as her two teenage children or her boyfriend since floodwater engulfed their two acres in Livingston Parish, swallowing up the family's mobile home.
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Baton Rouge government officials are trying to tear down as many blighted homes as possible in the next six months, hoping that FEMA will end up footing much of the bill.
Friday, February 10, 2017
GONZALES — A South Carolina contractor has been arrested on allegations of fraud after he was paid most of the agreed upon price to repair a flood-damaged home in Prairieville but left with only about half of the work completed, Ascension Parish s…
A Baton Rouge builder accused of committing contractor fraud against Ascension Parish flood victims asserted his innocence Friday hours after he posted bail and was released from jail.
Thursday, February 09, 2017
The Louisiana Bureau of Investigations arrested two Baton Rouge women Tuesday and accused them of fraudulently receiving FEMA funding after the August floods, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Flood victims can continue living for the next six months in motor homes, trailers and other forms of temporary housing on their property after the Metro Council voted Wednesday to extend the timeline allowing temporary housing on local lots.
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
The Ascension Parish School Board on Tuesday extended the lease on a warehouse it's used since the August flood, as well as extended a purchase agreement on that same building, which might prove to be the best option for a new warehouse operation.
East Baton Rouge Parish officials are taking steps to tear down property damaged and abandoned since August's flood and hope to get the federal government to pick up some of the costs.
Monday, February 06, 2017
People who had to borrow money from the U.S. Small Business Administration to rebuild their homes after the March and August floods as of now are plumb out of luck in getting government funds to help pay off that debt.
BAKER — The Baker school district should receive the final assessment on the status of flood-damaged Baker High School next week from Tillage Construction, schools Superintendent Herman Brister told the school board Tuesday night.
The flood that rocked Louisiana last summer was likely stronger than a so-called 500-year event in some places, new research suggests.
The August flood that wreaked havoc on the Capital region also has delayed the Baton Rouge Health District's plans for a diabetes and obesity center.
Saturday, February 04, 2017
The cost of repairing flooded schools in Baton Rouge is estimated at more than $62.5 million, some repairs will take years to complete and some of the flood-damaged schools may never reopen.
Friday, February 03, 2017
Prisoners waded out of the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women six months ago, each clutching two laundry bags of belongings, as floodwaters engulfed the state's only prison for female offenders.
FEMA approved a third deadline extension for flood victims with insurance to file their proof of loss forms on Friday, giving those affected another three months to gather the necessary documentation to be compensated for flood damages.