By Major Jerry Bell, Emergency Operations Manager
We are now in week six of Hurricane Laura mitigation. This means we are entering into Phase II which is the Impacts and Eligibility phase of the operation.
During this phase, DeQuincy has to identify and report all damage within 60 days of our Recovery Scoping Meeting (RSM) This meeting was held on Sept. 24. This means we must identify all our damage by Nov.24.
We have to logically group our damage into projects. Then site inspections must be accomplished. Presently the team is methodically documenting all our damage and trying not to miss any within the 60 days. This is a time consuming process but it must be done if we want FEMA to credit all our damage.
This week we are going to attempt to document all our sewer damage which is necessary for FEMA help. Constantly FEMA is being given updates. Jaime Dyson is daily entering all our data into the FEMA portal to be gone over by the FEMA officials. This entering into the FEMA portal is necessary to let FEMA know the extent of damages.
Debris removal will continue and project worksheets are being developed weekly. This process involves gathering all supporting documentation for proof of ownership of the city and responsibility of property. Each property will have a project worksheet that will develop a scope of work. Soon FEMA will schedule site visits to assess the damages to all our facilities and systems as well as buildings and parks. This will begin the process of cost estimates and will dictate a baseline for total damages.
The project worksheets and documentation are long and arduous but is detrimental to ensuring project eligibility and reimbursement. The paperwork is tremendous but has to be done in order for reimbursement.
Some good news is that the debris pickup is going well ahead of schedule at a very fast pace. The total cubic yards collected to date is around 73,040.35.
The total estimated cubic yards remaining is around 26,959.65. Many people have called about a pile or so that has not been picked up. We are in daily contact with the person in charge of the debris pickup and he has assured us that all will be picked up.
The last to be picked up are the large stumps which will require a different kind of truck but all the stumps will be picked up. The trucks will not leave until Mayor Riley Smith tells them that it is over.
So, what is very important now is for our citizens that can to get as much debris out to the road to be picked up. As stated before, help your neighbors do that while the trucks are in town. We want to get as much debris picked up as possible.
The mobile registration has left DeQuincy but you can still register on line for any benefits that FEMA might have for you.
The team did register a large amount of DeQuincy area people so it was beneficial for them to be here.
The Sheriff has lifted our curfew but remember when driving at night that there is still debris near our roads that might spill over. The DeQuincy Police Department has left the emergency stage and are back to normal duty hours. Still extra patrols will be activated as needed for our security.
There has been a very limited amount of crimes committed during the curfew and this bodes well on the DeQuincy Police Force who were out every night protecting lives and property. These men and women should be commended as well as the fire department men and women and our street crews who continue the debris mitigation.
This concludes this week’s Hurricane Laura update.
Be safe and be wise.