Five FEMA sites eyed in St. John

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — FEMA has submitted to the St. John the Baptist Parish Administration five sites that could possibly be the new temporary homes for evacuees of Hurricane Katrina.

Parish President Nickie Monica said local landowners were already contacting FEMA about vacant land before Hurricane Katrina was over, and administration had no part in it.

“Before the wind stopped blowing, they had landowners calling FEMA offering land,” Monica said. “FEMA had a list of 100 already zoned for mobile home development. They came to the Parish to meet with us to see what the possibilities were for this parish.”

Monica said the Parish and the Sheriff’s Office have agreed to place 250 temporary trailers parish-wide.

“We can handle that amount, because these trailers will house people that are already here, and that have already impacted the parish,” he said. “Some sites may require a package plant, depending on whether or not the sewage system in that particular area can handle it or not.”

FEMA went through the process to come up with the five sites, which involves the landowner agreeing to let their land be used, identifying the cost to develop the site and how much it will cost FEMA, according to Monica.

“FEMA takes everything into consideration,” Monica said. “Sewage, the school system and security. After these considerations are made they come back to the parish to see if it will work. We are currently in the reviewing process.”

When asked to address the concerns the communities had about evacuees coming into the neighborhoods at Tuesday night’s Planning and Zoning meeting, Monica said those concerns will be addressed, because the people do have a voice in decisions made.

“We are making sure the temporary trailers will be spread out within the parish, so all of them are not in just one area,” he said. “Also, considering the people that will be housed here will be working citizens, there should not be a problem, but like I said we are currently in a reviewing process.”

Monica said at this time he could not comment on where the five sites FEMA was looking at are located.