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|FEMA pays $266,000 in March|
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursed the Franklin Parish Police Jury $266,737.43 in March for work stemming from the October 16, 2006 flooding.
"It is taking a while, but we are getting it," said parish superintendent Greg Humphries. "There is a lot of paperwork involved for each project and it has to be approved by both FEMA and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness before the parish receives any money."
Humphries said the Jindal administration implemented a new Website and filing system that makes processing claims much easier and quicker.
"They have a different procedure now, and if all the paperwork is in order, which ours is, they will cut a check within 10 days," Humphries said.
Of the more than 400 parish roads, almost half were damaged in some way by the surprise rain which dumped 15 to 22 inches throughout the parish.
"It caused a lot more damage than people realize," Humphries said. "We are still working on projects that were caused by the flood."
Gravel and asphalt road, ditches, culverts and bridges were all affected by the flood. Humphries said since the flood his department has used about 40,000 tons of gravel. That's compared to the normal 10,000 tons the police jury moved in a normal year. He said four gravel contractors quit because the demand and volume was too much for them to meet and in some cases when gravel was not available they used crushed limestone on roads.
FEMA estimated some $1,165,839 will go to the parish for reimbursement. Even with the work done so far, Humphries and his staff have a huge amount left to do.
"We've still got $700,000 worth of work to do in the next few months," he said. "And we are going to get it done and I will keep submitting these invoices and receipts to FEMA and the state. I'm going to get the parish's money."