St. Tammany officials wait for reimbursements, year after Isaac - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

St. Tammany officials wait for reimbursements, 1 year after Isaac

This week will mark one year since Hurricane Isaac hit the New Orleans area, largely sparing the city but packing a wallop for areas outside metro flood protection.

St. Tammany Parish sustained millions of dollars in damage, and some of it is still in ruins. With no flood protection to speak of, Hurricane Isaac did a number on the North Shore, especially at Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville.

Richard Scott now sets his office up outside of the visitors center, which isn't taking visitors any more. About 1,000 exhibits were flooded, rescued, and are now in storage.

"I was able to save all that," said Scott, who is somewhat resigned. His Lakeview home was flooded by Katrina, and he now revisits the pain.

Isaac also destroyed cabins that stayed booked up all the time, as well as a raised boardwalk east of the park.  

"The boardwalk, what we have left is the posts coming up out of the marsh. It washed the decks away," said park manager Dwayne Borel.

Isaac flooded over 1,000 homes across St. Tammany, 500 in Slidell alone.  

The city of Mandeville also sustained heavy damage. The fishing pier suffered a half-million dollars in damage. So did a police substation.  But Mandeville officials are still waiting for over $1 million in FEMA reimbursements.

"A year ago, Isaac came through, did about $2.2 million in damage. With FEMA assessment, we'll get 75 percent of that money," said Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere.

North Shore towns and neighborhoods aren't the only ones to suffer damage  from Isaac one year ago this week.  The Causeway Bridge itself took a $3.7 million hit, and is still waiting on its FEMA reimbursements.

Isaac knocked out the bridge's old turnaround lanes, even though they survived Katrina. The storm also knocked out the bridge's electrical system. That's been repaired, as has the Mandeville fishing pier, even though at some point FEMA may change the rules to avoid repetitive claims.

"I think they're going to take a look at a different take if damage continues from future storms," said Villere.

Right now, there are no requirements to rebuild differently, as park officials make do.

In spite of the damage, Fontainebleau State Park remains the busiest in the state, even though it has much less to work with, thanks to Hurricane Isaac.

Aside from the people who run Mandeville and the Causeway, officials with the city of Slidell and the Lake Pontchartrain Maritime Museum are also waiting for FEMA to reimburse them for damage to things like the Tchefuncte Lighthouse and the Slidell fishing pier, which remain closed.

Powered by Frankly