Hurricane Isaac

Public Service Commission
12:06 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Utilities Commission to conduct outages hearing

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.

Hurricane Isaac
12:01 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

New Orleans to get $27.3 million from FEMA

New Orleans will receive $27.3 million in grants from the federal government to help cover some of the city's costs related to Hurricane Isaac.

The grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency were announced Wednesday in a joint news release by Sen. Mary Landrieu, Rep. Cedric Richmond and Mayor Mitch Landrieu. Some of the money will reimburse the city for labor and equipment for a variety of emergency protective measures including police patrols and operation of major drainage systems and pumps.

Business & Technology
5:00 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Small business center to open in St. John

The Small Business Administration, Louisiana Department of Economic Development and the Louisiana Small Business Development Centers will open a business recovery center in St. John the Baptist Parish for companies affected by Hurricane Isaac.

The center opens Thursday at 2013 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace.

Its hours will be 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.

Hurricane Isaac
4:38 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

FEMA to open disaster office for St. Helena

St. Helena residents affected by Hurricane Isaac soon will be able to apply for disaster assistance at a recovery center in Greensburg.

Jessica Strickland, Office of Emergency Preparedness director, says the Federal Emergency Management Agency will set up a disaster recovery center at Charlie Overton Park within the next few days.

Until then, Strickland says residents may apply for FEMA assistance by calling 800 621-FEMA or visiting the agency online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov.

Latest News
4:36 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

National Guardsman killed in traffic accident

State police say a Louisiana National Guardsman from Shreveport was killed in a traffic accident in Natchitoches Parish.

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon on Interstate 49 five miles north of state Highway 6.

Troopers say Sgt. Kevin Dean Weiner was driving a Humvee northbound when it was struck from behind by an 18-wheeler. The 30-year-old Weiner was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Sgt. John C. Fike of Bossier City, suffered moderate injuries in the accident.

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Environment
4:25 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Cause of whale deaths still unknown

State officials are still working to determine what killed two whales found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac.

They also are trying to determine the whales' species.

The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in an email Tuesday that both whales were badly decomposed, making it difficult to tell the species.

One whale, found at Belle Pass, was more than 8 feet long. The one at Grand Isle was about 10 feet long. Samples were taken from both whales in hopes of determining what killed them.

Schools
4:19 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Schools closed by Hurricane Isaac begin to reopen

Schools closed by the drenching rains and gusty winds of Hurricane Isaac are beginning to reopen.

Officials say nine schools within the St. John the Baptist Parish School District reopened Monday with at least a 92 percent student attendance rate. District-wide attendance increased to almost 95 percent by Tuesday.

Superintendent of Schools Herbert Smith said employees have been "working tirelessly" to ensure a quick return to schools.

Hurricane Isaac
4:18 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

After Isaac exposes oil, BP aims to dig it out

BP PLC says it wants to aggressively clean up buried oil exposed on Louisiana's beaches by Hurricane Isaac's churning waves.

The company wants to dig deep into beaches and remove oil buried since a BP well blew out on April 20, 2010, leading to the nation's largest offshore spill.

But digging deep can bring its own problems — it can be harmful to creatures that live on beaches or feed on them and it also may lead to erosion by loosening up sand. Erosion is a constant worry in Louisiana because the state is losing land at an alarming rate.

Hurricane Isaac
3:49 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

La. crops: Preliminary Isaac damage estimate $100M

LSU AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry says good weather over the next several weeks could do a lot to reduce a preliminary estimate of $100 million in crop damage from Hurricane Isaac.

He says the preliminary figure is less than damage from last year's drought.

Some farmers lost all of some crops. Guidry says about 250 acres of vegetables were reported as a total loss, and losses were high on another 50 acres or so. But 7,000 to 8,000 acres of vegetables were unharmed.

Flood Protection
12:20 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Reversible diversion project proposed for Ascension, St. James Parishes

Ascension Parish government officials say a proposed Mississippi River diversion project in St. James Parish may be a way to blunt the kind of high storm surge seen after Hurricane Isaac.

The Advocate reports parish officials would like the diversion project planned near Romeville to be reversible as part of a broader flood protection plan in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

Under that concept, water would flow not only from the Mississippi into the Maurepas Swamp, but also from the swamp into the river in times of high water in the lake basin.

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