Parish asks for cooperation as recovery continues in St. John
Published 9:53 pm Friday, August 31, 2012
By ROBIN SHANNON
LAPLACE – In the Parish’s first joint press conference since wind, rain and water from Hurricane Isaac ravaged LaPlace and other parts of the east bank, St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and Sheriff Mike Tregre asked residents to be patient and work together to get past the major devastation.
“To the people who are away, we miss you and we want you back, but now is not the time,” Robottom said. “To the people who are here, there are lots of things you can be doing. Help your neighbors. Help your friends get where they need to go if you have the means to do so.”
Robottom said the parish is also seeking volunteers from the region to assist in distributing food, water and other supplies at various points of distribution, which will reopen tomorrow morning.
“Anyone who has the means to volunteer, contact the parish office at 985-652-9569, or the emergency operations center at 985-652-2222,” Robottom said. “This is a long term event and we will need all the assistance we can get.”
Tregre, meanwhile, said his main concern is the protection of the people who stayed behind and all of the property in the parish. He said a curfew remains in affect, which now begins at 8 p.m. nightly. He said anyone on the road past that time would be questioned.
“After 8 p.m., deputies will be stationed on Airline Highway and River Road at the St. Charles and St. James Parish lines,” Tregre said. “Anyone with a current St. John Parish identification will be let in. People will be allowed to get to their jobs, but we ask that drivers go directly to where they need to go. Don’t stay on the roads. The less traffic we have the easier it will be for us to get supplies where they need to go.”
Tregre said he was happy to report there has been no loss of life in St. John as a result of the flooding conditions.
“That shows me that we are doing things right,” Tregre said. “More than 6,000 residents have been rescued from their homes and the calls have finally subsided.”
Robottom said the parish has been able to get to the disabled water well in Ruddock to assess the damage. She said generators have been brought to the system and the parish is very close to restoring water.