Long term storm recovery needs assessed in St. John - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Long term storm recovery needs assessed in St. John

Debris in the Cambridge Subdivision in LaPlace which suffered storm flooding. Debris in the Cambridge Subdivision in LaPlace which suffered storm flooding.

LaPlace, La.—It has been five months since Hurricane Isaac flooded parts of Saint John Parish, and parish leaders know for many residents the recovery will be a long process. So, the parish is getting help in identifying residents who may be in that situation.

In the Cambridge Subdivision, mounds of construction debris lined some curbside's Tuesday afternoon.

And walking the neighborhood were volunteers with the "World Renew Organization" which is based in Michigan.

"Do you have any unmet needs, or have you gotten everything fixed up?" asked a female volunteer of resident Sonja Welch.

"No, we haven't gotten everything fixed up. We've paid for everything, but they keep putting us off," Welch said.

Welch does not believe she and her husband got all the assistance they need.

"No, we didn't get anything from FEMA only enough to like if we had to have a motel, you know," she said.

Floors in her home remain bare.

The "World Renew" volunteers are assisting Saint John Parish's Long Term Recovery Group, which hopes to achieve a coordinated management of long term recovery needs.

"I actually had a lady that I talked to last night on the telephone who is in need of food. She wasn't exactly sure where the meals for today were going to come from," said Harry Kuipers, a needs assessment manager with the "World Renew Organization," a faith based group.

He was recently in the north east assisting Hurricane Sandy victims and looked forward to the work they will do in Saint John Parish.

"We go there and do rapid response and we also sometimes do reconstruction sites," Kuipers said.

And the volunteers said in their short time on the ground here they have encountered storm victims who have been ripped off by shady contractors.

"We've had people who have had contractors come in and they were given the money to do the job and they never showed up again." Kuipers said.

The information the volunteers are gathering from storm victims will be entered into a huge data base which the organization, Saint John Parish government, and other charities can tap into to gauge ongoing recovery needs and dole out assistance.

"So those with the greatest or highest priority needs will be met first," Kuipers said.

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