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|Franklin awaiting word on disaster declaration|
Franklin Parish residents affected by Hurricane Gustav still don't know if or when they will be eligible to receive federal disaster assistance.
That's because the White House has yet to act on Gov. Bobby Jindal's request to include all 64 Louisiana parishes in the disaster declaration issued last week.
State Sen. Neil Riser said Jindal has asked officials in Washington to amend the declaration, but so far no such amendments have been made.
"We're working on the Federal Government timeline which is not very timely," said Riser, R-Columbia.
Speaking from Monroe last week, Jindal said he was confident the region would see federal relief money eventually, though Jindal did not specify a timeline.
"As of Monday, I had word that it was going to be included," Riser said. "But it's still under assessment."
That means the residents of some of the hardest-hit parishes will have to wait to begin recovering from the storm.
Riser said that's especially difficult because Franklin and Catahoula Parishes were two of the most devastated regions hit by Gustav.
White House officials were not immediately available for comment.
However, last week, FEMA officials said assessment teams were being dispatched "throughout the state", including in Franklin Parish, to determine which parishes would be added to the president's declaration and in what order.