‘Send more troops down here,’ Jean Lafitte mayor calls for Atmos to restore gas lines

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For 16 days, Kade Vincent and his dad, Jean, drive back and forth from Mississippi to their Jean Lafitte home, gutting it.

“Everything that was on the ground, all the furniture, all the mattress, the bed, the wall, the outlets, the sheetrock, the flooring, everything,” Vincent said. “Everything’s got to come out.”

It’s the only home Vincent knows; he and his dad are doing everything to clean it out.

He isn’t alone. Piles of debris sit outside the homes of his neighbors, along with mud.

“No storm ever put this much mud everywhere,” Vincent said. “We didn’t expect no mud at all. No water in the house and we came back to water and mud. We had to tear everything out.”

Unfortunately, Mayor Tim Kerner Jr. says people may have to deal with mud a little longer, “I mean the amount of mud in their yards still they’re digging out of their garages.”

In the meantime, he’s trying to get answers from Atmos Energy when they’ll restore gas. He says he’s talking with representatives but isn’t getting clear answers or a restoration date.

An Atmos Energy spokesperson tells FOX 8, crews are assessing critical damage to several miles of underground lines, adding they will have to replace most underground lines.

“I’ve been in constant communication with them they still haven’t provided me an ETA. As soon as we’re able to have a town meeting, I’ll be requesting them to come to the town meeting and give me some real numbers,” Kerner said. “If Atmos is listening please come down here. Send more troops down here and help us get some relief.”

He’s also working with members of Congress to get temporary and permanent housing.

“Everybody is working on a house,” Kerner said. “Everybody got some kind of damage.”

Vincent says he and his dad will drive back to Mississippi and head back to Jean Lafitte in the days ahead as they work on plans to potentially raise the building.

Atmos Energy customers can reach out at a 24/7 emergency line at 866-322-8667. For general questions, 888-286-6700.


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