New Orleans to get $27.3 million from FEMA

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans will receive $27.3 million in grants from the federal government to help cover some of the city’s costs related to Hurricane Isaac.

The grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were announced Wednesday in a joint news release by Sen. Mary Landrieu, Rep. Cedric Richmond and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Some of the money will reimburse the city for labor and equipment for a variety of emergency protective measures including police patrols and operation of major drainage systems and pumps.

Other costs reimbursed will include debris removal and cleaning of mud, silt and sand from street drainage catch basins.

Small business center to open in St. John

LAPLACE (AP) — The Small Business Administration, Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers will open a business recovery center in St. John the Baptist Parish for companies affected by Hurricane Isaac.

The center opens Thursday at 2013 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

Its hours will be 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Hours extended in Orleans, Jefferson to apply for food stamp assistance

(AP) — State officials say hours have been extended in Orleans and Jefferson parishes for residents seeking disaster food assistance following Hurricane Isaac.

Suzy Sonnier, secretary of the Department of Children and Family Services, says both UNO’s Lakefront Arena in Orleans Parish and the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish will process applications from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. Wednesday for those whose last name begins with A through M; on Thursday, applicants N through Z will be processed.

DCFS says it’s also increasing processing capacity by adding computers and staff at each site.

The department has also received a two-day extension for applicants in Lafourche. The new deadline there is Thursday.

In Plaquemines and St. John the Baptist parishes, the new deadline is Friday.

Cause of whale deaths still unknown

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — State officials are still working to determine what killed two whales found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac.

They also are trying to determine the whales’ species.

The state Wildlife and Fisheries Department said in an email Tuesday that both whales were badly decomposed, making it difficult to tell the species.

One whale, found at Belle Pass, was more than 8 feet long. The one at Grand Isle was about 10 feet long. Samples were taken from both whales in hopes of determining what killed them.

Both whales washed up where weathered oil from the 2010 BP oil spill had been churned up by Isaac. When the oil was found, commercial fishing was closed in waters a mile off a 14-mile stretch of coast from Belle Pass to Caminada Pass.

Pearl River WMA fully reopened post Isaac cleanup

(AP) — All of the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area in St. Tammany Parish is now open but access via Old Highway 11 will remain closed until Thursday because of flooding and damage from Hurricane Isaac.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reopened areas north of Interstate 10 on Tuesday.

It had reopened areas south of I-10 earlier.

The department says it is repairing Old Highway 11.

Elm Hall in Assumption Parish and Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish remain closed because of debris removal and storm damage affecting vehicle access.