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Power restored to St. John Parish neighborhood

LAPLACE — Parish President Jaclyn Hotard was happy to report that electricity is being restored to houses in the Belle Pointe neighborhood, marking a major accomplishment in St. John the Baptist Parish’s recovery from Hurricane Ida.

Entergy Louisiana has pinpointed Sept. 17 as the estimated date of power restoration for the majority of St. John Parish.

“One of our neighborhoods received electricity tonight. We are so, so grateful because the predictions showed that we wouldn’t have electricity at this moment. The fact that we have a little bit is a good thing,” Hotard said. “There are so many linemen in the parish doing work right now. I can’t think Entergy enough.”

Water has been restored on the East and West banks of St. John Parish, though Hotard said it is possible residents will temporarily lose water as pressure builds and leaks are discovered. Thus far, this has only occurred with the LaPlace water system, which is based in Ruddock.

“(The LaPlace water system) is not sustainable. There has already been a plan in place to get that system out of there, and this has once again proven to us why it needs to be relocated,” Hotard said.

As residents begin to return home, clean-up efforts are underway. Hotard said parish crews will begin picking up vegetable debris on Tuesday, Sept. 7.

Debris removal has been more complicated in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida when compared to Hurricane Isaac in 2012, according to Hotard. While Isaac was a flood event, Ida was a flood and wind event, and trees throughout the parish needed to be cut and pushed to the sides of roadways before vegetative pick-up could begin.

After the vegetative debris is removed, crews will begin to clear household debris.

“Many of our residents have not had a chance to come back to their homes, and many adjusters, including mine, have said they want to see this debris at the road. We’re trying to give the adjusters an opportunity to get out and assess that damage as well,” Hotard said.

“We will get it all picked up. It will just take a little time.”