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St. John could receive flood relief

LAPLACE — There were no reports of damaged homes in St. John the Baptist Parish during last month’s devastating floods, but the Parish may still be eligible to receive federal funds.

According to Mike Steele, communications director at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, St. John Parish is one of six parishes included in a disaster declaration request by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

If approved, the declaration would make St. John Parish and the others eligible for Public Assistance for government entities such as the Sheriff’s Office, Public Works or other government agencies. The declaration would not cover individual losses, such as homes and businesses because there were none, Steele said.

“We have no reports of any in that parish,” Steele said. “Only the most northern corner of the parish was affected by the floods.”

St. Charles, St. James, Assumption,  Cameron,  and West Baton Rouge parishes also are included in Edwards’ request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

All six parishes are believed to meet the criteria for the declaration and to receive public assistance.

A total of 20 parishes have been included in the federal disaster declaration issued by President Barack Obama, qualifying individuals and residents for assistance.

The latest request asks for Assumption, Cameron, St. Charles, St. James and West Baton Rouge to be included so that residents there can receive individual and public assistance.

The statistics provided by GOHSEP shows eight houses in St. James received damage from last month’s devastating floods, while 12 houses in St. Charles Parish were damaged.

While individual homeowners in St. John Parish would not be included in the declaration, displaced residents and business owners relocated to the Parish are encouraged to register with FEMA.

To register call 1-800-621-FEMA or visit DisasterAssistance.gov.

The nearest FEMA office is a the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave. in Gonzales. The center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Flood victims can also register with the Small Business Association for individual assistance. Visit SBA.gov or call 1-800-659-2955.