An engineering expert has testified he believes excavation work performed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor caused New Orleans' floodwalls to breach in two places during Hurricane Katrina.
Robert Bea, a retired University of California engineering professor, explained his position Monday during a trial of homeowners' claims against the corps and contractor Washington Group International Inc.
State authorities are urging builders and homeowners to take steps to prevent the spread of termites as they rebuild after Hurricane Isaac.
Agriculture and Forestry Secretary Mike Strain said residents can contact the Department of Agriculture and Forestry at 225-925-4578 to be sure the pesticide company they hire is certified and licensed.
Treatments and annual inspections are recommended. Between inspections, Strain said property owners should periodically inspect their home or business for evidence of termites.
St. Tammany Parish officials say fees will be waived for residential and commercial building permits obtained to repair damage from Hurricane Isaac.
Authorities said documentation will be required at the time of application, and includes such items as an insurance claim or photos of the damaged property.
More details on documentation required for permits can be obtained at the St. Tammany Parish Administrative Complex, 21454 Koop Drive, Suite 1B, Mandeville, phone 985-898-2574 or at the Towers Building, 520 Old Spanish Trail, Suite 2F, Slidell, phone 985-646-4166.
A state-run insurance company of last resort has agreed to settle two remaining class-action lawsuits tied to claims handled after hurricanes Katrina and Rita for $61 million.
The board for the Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. voted unanimously Thursday to settle the long-running lawsuits. Policyholders sued the company over the slow handling of claims after the hurricanes struck in 2005.
The board also authorized company CEO Richard Robertson to put a cap of $4,500 per claim.
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.
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.
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.
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.