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Story Archives: Quest for Gustav costs underway
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|Quest for Gustav costs underway|
The Franklin Parish Police Jury's quest to put a dollar figure on Hurricane Gustav damages ranges near and far.
On the near side, President Harvey Guimbellot describes the jury's recent call for parish residents to help identify problem areas as, "a good response. But, there are a lot of farmers who have not been in the field since the hurricane. If they see things that present problems with drainage, they should let us know."
On the far side, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has brought in public assistance inspectors from as far away as Spokane, Wash., to help evaluate damage cost estimates. FEMA has 60 days from Oct. 10 to complete its evaluation of public roads, bridges and drainage systemsówith funding for parish expenses hanging in the balance.
Gustav, a Labor Day reminder to north Louisiana that the Gulf of Mexico hurricane season is also far reaching, dropped about 21 inches of water in a few hours on the parish. Flooding and associated runoff created numerous public and private disasters.
Franklin Parish was declared the northernmost disaster area in the state immediately following the associated storms.
The parish, according to Guimbellot, has estimated repair costs to roads, bridges and drainage areas at nearly $2.4 million. FEMA inspectors are now in the field verifying the parish estimates. Reports from the FEMA inspectors influence how much money the parish receives for previous and anticipated repair work.
While FEMA inspectors were assessing damages to public property, the agency also reopened its office in Winnsboro to assist private individuals who suffered hurricane related losses. FEMA opened on Prairie Street on Monday with plans to stay through Friday.
A total of 205 parish roads need just over $2 million in repairs, according to estimates late last week. The estimates also note 31 large drainage culverts which need about $100,000 in repair costs and more than $100,000 is needed to repair bridges in the parish.
Guimbellot said parish residents can still report damages. Anyone who suspects a washed out drainage area has not been reported should contact:
Guimbellot at 439-0284; Parish Superintendent Greg Humphries at 439-0193 or the road barn at 439-9446 are numbers to report damages to public property.