FEMA opening Disaster Recovery Center in Alexandria, LA

A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) was approved by FEMA and will be opening in Alexandria Friday, October 24. 

 The site will be located at – Bolton Avenue Community Center, 315 Bolton Ave., Alexandria.

  The hours of operation will be 9 AM until 6 PM.

Central Louisiana Emergency Contact Numbers listed here

Emergency numbers

Central emergency number: 911
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office: (318) 473-6700
Alexandria: (318) 449-5099
Pineville: (318) 442-6603
Ball: (318) 640-4673
Louisiana State Police Troop E: (318) 487-5911 or
(800) 256-4160
Louisiana State Police Troop D: (337) 491-2511 or
(888) 225-5577

Natchitoches Parish: (318) 352-6432
Evangeline Parish: (337) 363-2161
Avoyelles Parish: (318) 253-4000
Allen Parish: (337) 639-4353
Beauregard Parish: (337) 463-3281
Catahoula Parish: (318) 744-5411
Concordia Parish: (318) 336-5231
Grant Parish: (318) 627-3261
LaSalle Parish: (318) 992-2151
Winn Parish: (318) 628-4611
Vernon Parish: (337) 238-1311
Sabine Parish: (318) 256-9241

Alexandria: (318) 441-6911
Pineville: (318) 442-4452

Alexandria utilities: (318) 441-6310
Alexandria Electric, to report a utility emergency: (318) 473-1301
Alexandria Gas, to report a gas leak: (318) 441-6026
Pineville utilities: (318) 449-5660
Cleco: 1-800-622-6537
Entergy: 1-800-368-3749
Atmos Energy, natural gas: 1-800-692-4694

Rapides Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness: (318) 445-5141
Rapides Parish Health Unit: (318) 487-5282
National Response Center for toxic chemical spills: 1-800-424-8802
Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222

American Red Cross, Central Louisiana Chapter: (318) 442-6621
Salvation Army: (318) 442-0445

Online sites

Louisiana Hurricane preparedness: http://www.getagameplan.org

Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov

Louisiana State Police: http://www.lsp.org

Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.org

LSU AgCenter: http://www.lsuagcenter.com

American Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org

The Disaster Center: http://www.disastercenter.com

National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov

The Weather Channel: http://www.weather.com

AccuWeather: http://www.accuweather.com

Intellicast: http://www.Intellicast.com

CNN Weather: http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER

Live Weather Images: http://www.weatherimages.org

Weather Underground: http://www.weatherunderground.com
Weather radio

The following radio stations serve Central Louisiana as official National
Weather Service NOAA.

Weather Radio stations:
Alexandria: WXK78 at 162.475
Natchitoches: WXN87 at 162.500
Lake Charles: KHB42 at 162.400

Emergency foodstamps in Alexandria, LA

BATON ROUGE, La. (September 9, 2008) – Department of Social Services Secretary Ann Silverberg Williamson reiterated her call to the federal government to waive the face-to-face interview requirement for Disaster Food Stamp applicants tonight. “The main reason we requested that waiver was to avoid many of the challenges we faced today,” said Williamson. “This is not an average disaster, we have a very widespread area of people impacted by this storm and they need assistance in a more efficient and timely manner.”

Despite long lines, DSS employees processed 30,290 Disaster Food Stamp applicants were processed from the 31 parishes. Here is a breakdown of those numbers:

Applications processed on 9/9/2008:

Region 1
New Orleans
Region 2
Baton Rouge
Region 3
Region 4
Region 5
Region 6
Lake Charles
Region 7
Region 8
Region 9
Total *

* Applications processed are estimates based on hand counts

The parishes declared eligible for Disaster Food Stamps are: Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermilion, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

Substantial progress has been made to increase capacity with the opening of five new sites Wednesday, including the New Orleans Convention Center and the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish. Click here for an updated list of application sites. Louisiana’s Unified Command will ensure that all sites have full security and that water is provided to applicants. “These two sites will give us what we were seeking as we began to work with local officials; an indoor site out of the heat of summer,” said Williamson.

Today, the Department of Social Services trained an additional 328 staff to be deployed in these new locations. A call has been sent to each of Governor Jindal’s Cabinet members asking for additional staff to be trained for any new locations that open and to supplement the six highest volume sites which include the Alario Center in Jefferson Parish, St. Maria Goretti Church and Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Mount Pilgrim Baptist and the East Baton Rouge Office of Family Services, Sorrento Civic Center in Ascension, Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette and North Park in Denham Springs. Emergency medical services will also be deployed to these sites.

The Department of Social Services is also working on an additional option to help our elderly population. Council on Aging staff will be trained and enabled to register applicants by Thursday.

After reports of citizens becoming upset when they learned that they not getting cash cards, Williamson stressed that Disaster Food Stamps has strictly defined income eligibility and can only be used for the purchase of food. Williamson announced that she visited the Ag Center in Assumption Parish today and will travel to sites in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes tomorrow to assess the progress being made in this emergency program.

Williamson reminded participants in the regular Food Stamp Program that they do not need to apply since their benefits will automatically be lifted to the maximum amount allowable for September and their August benefits have been increased by 20% in order to replace lost food.

The Disaster Food Stamp application process will last for at least seven days and DSS will monitor the need for these services in order to determine whether a request for an extension will be necessary.

For the latest on the recovery from Hurricane Gustav, you can visit emergency.louisiana.gov or call the state’s emergency hotline at 1-866-288-2484 to listen to a recorded message with the most up-to-date information.


Remnants of Gustav in Alexandria, LA

Today, people in Central Louisiana are trying to regain a sense of normalcy. However, that won’t be as easy as talking about it because people are cleaning and clearing out water that invaded the city on yesterday.

A Day After Gustav comes to Alexandria, LA

My what a night we had in Central Louisiana as Hurricane Gustav made its arrival. He certainly let us know that he was in town and that he was not leaving until he got ready.

I survived the night, and I woke up to a few branches on the ground. I for sure thought that two trees that are in my front yard would come down, but they didn’t. Of course, everyone lost power. We survived with a battery-operated radio that worked wonderfully.

Being the journalist that I am, I couldn’t wait to get up and out in the streets. People are out like flies searching for food and gasoline. Only a few fastfood restaurants are open. The lines are extremely long.

I’ll drop back in as time and power allows.