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|Parish asks Jindal for aid|
On Wednesday afternoon, a letter from Franklin Parish Police Jury President Harvey Ray Guimbellot was emailed to Gov. Bobby Jindal requesting assistance because of the flooding caused by Hurricane Gustav.
"Franklin Parish has suffered the following damages," the letter states, "five (5) bridges have been washed away and/or damaged, approximately fifty (50) roads are impassable, approximately eight-hundred forty (840) homes have been flooded."
"The governor has to look at it, and then the president," Guimbellot said Thursday morning. "We hope to know something real soon."
As of Wednesday at 3 p.m., some 17 inches of rain had been recorded at the LSU AgCenter Sweet Potato Research Station in Gilbert as a result of Hurricane Gustav.
It's too early to know how many parish roads and bridges are damaged.
"We've got to wait until the water goes down to even get to outlying areas of the parish," Guimbellot said from the police jury barn. "We've got people out taking pictures of the flooding so we can send them to FEMA."
"In some areas this is worse than the flood of 2006," Guimbellot said. "In this case, though, we did have some warning. People who flooded in 2006 were here early getting sand bags."
Crews began filling sand bags Saturday in preparation for Gustav's landfall on Monday. Sheriff Steve Pylant sent inmates from the Franklin Parish detention center to fill bags, deliver and stack them at the homes of the elderly and disabled.
"The sheriff gave us the inmate help and we were able to get to about 30 homes," said Guimbellot.
Police juror Leroy Scott also filled bags and took them to people unable to come and get them.
Police jury assistant superintendent Chris Hunt estimated 30,000 sand bags were filled and distributed.
Water covering roadways has made travel treacherous, and motorists are asked to drive very carefully.
"We are urging people to take extreme caution, said Kevin Cobb, chief deputy of the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department. "Some of the rural roads, though they seem passable, can be dangerous to drive through. We're seeing a lot of people stalling out."