Hurricane Isaac caused a spike in initial claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Sept. 8.
Figures released Friday show initial claims increased to 9,023 from 2,345. That's the most initial claims filed in one week since Hurricanes Gustav and Ike impacted Louisiana in September 2008, resulting in 10,264 first-time claims filed the week ending Sept. 27, 2008.
State officials are investigating how many chemicals leaked from storage tanks at a facility flooded by Hurricane Isaac with about 10 feet of water.
Isaac's surge damaged the Stolthaven Braithwaite LLC chemical storage and transfer facility next to the Mississippi River in Braithwaite, a Plaquemines Parish community protected by levees overtopped by floodwaters.
The facility is owned by Stolt-Nielsen Ltd., a Norwegian company that ships bulk liquid chemicals, vegetable oils and other chemicals around the world.
Louisiana's property insurer of last resort says Hurricane Isaac has resulted in over 13,000 claims and they expect more to come.
Vice President and Chief Claims Officer of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Quin Netzel said Thursday most claims average a little over $5,000. He said they're expecting between 15,000 and 17,000 claims as a result of Isaac and so far 36 percent of received claims have been inspected, while 4 percent of claims have been closed.
The state Department of Environmental Quality is checking a report that as much as 191,000 gallons of toxic material may have been released during Hurricane Isaac from the Stolthaven chemical facility in Braithwaite. The company made the estimate to the Coast Guard’s National Response Center.
A man who allegedly got a fully loaded AR-15 assault rifle from his car after being turned down for disaster food stamps is jailed in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Louisiana State Police say a claims processor in LaPlace told officers that a man had become irate after being denied Tuesday evening. Officers saw him get something out of his car. State troopers, sheriff's deputies and national guard troops quickly surrounded, subdued and disarmed the man.
Trooper Melissa Matey says that investigators also found a handgun and many loaded magazines of ammunition.
Officials say Hurricane Isaac caused no catastrophic damage to St. James Parish public schools, but the district needs to spend $500,000 to $750,000 for storm repairs.
Jim Mitchell, administrative director of business services for the district, told school board members Wednesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse the district for at least 75 percent of eligible costs because the parish has been declared a disaster zone.
The state's public utilities commission has decided to conduct an investigative hearing on the power outages that plagued Louisiana for days after Hurricane Isaac lashed the state with wind-driven rains.
Commissioner Eric Skrmetta said Wednesday it was the duty of the Public Service Commission to ask hard questions of the utility companies after more than 900,000 residents were left without electricity.
He said the utility companies performed well at restoring power to consumers once the storm had abated but he had questions about their pre-storm response.