BY BOB ANDERSON
and HEIDI KINCHEN
Florida Parishes bureau
September 14, 2012
Additional disaster recovery centers opened in three Louisiana parishes Thursday, officials reported.
Centers opened in St. Helena, Tangipahoa and Assumption parishes to help homeowners, renters and business owners who sustained property damage during Hurricane Isaac, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Specialists from the state, FEMA and U.S. Small Business Administration will be on hand to answer questions and provide information on the types of assistance available at the centers.
It was necessary for Tangipahoa Parish to have two centers because it is more than 50 miles from one end of the parish to the other, Parish President Gordon Burgess said.
Some of the people who need help would have difficulty getting to a center otherwise, he said.
Burgess said he expects the centers to be open for more than a month.
More than 7,000 people had already signed up for individual assistance in Tangipahoa Parish before the centers opened, according to FEMA.
That number probably will double now, said Dawson Primes, director of the Tangipahoa Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Shortly after opening, the centers already had lines of people waiting for assistance, he said.
The two Tangipahoa centers opened in tents, Primes said Thursday afternoon, adding that both of them would move indoors when all lease matters are settled.
The Tangipahoa centers are at 282 Tower Road in Ponchatoula and at 204 E. Oak St. in Amite.
The St. Helena Center is at Charlie Overton Park, 226 Park Loop, in Greensburg.
The Assumption Parish Center is in the Napoleonville Community Center, 4770 La. 1 in Napoleonville.
All of the centers will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until further notice, according to a FEMA.
A list of the other recovery centers now open can be found on FEMA’s website at http://www.fema.gov/disaster/4080. More recovery centers will open as sites are identified and approved, according to FEMA.
Residents also can register for FEMA assistance online at http://www.disasterassistance.gov or via phone at (800) 621-FEMA or (TTY) (800) 462-7585. Residents who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call the first phone number.
The toll-free numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week, according to FEMA.
SBA loan information for residents and businesses may also be accessed online at http://www.sba.gov or via phone at (800) 659-2955. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
The major disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac has made federal assistance available for eligible residents in 18 parishes: Ascension, Assumption, Iberville, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.