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Hundreds in St. Charles still in need of housing one month after Ida

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Hundreds of homeowners in St. Charles Parish are in need of housing.

Parish President Matt Jewell says he is concerned about FEMA housing benefits and what may happen when that money runs out.

On the West Bank of St. Charles Parish, Danny YBarbo of Boutte can’t believe the damage Ida brought.

“I’ve been through several storms Rita, Ike, Gustav, this was by far the most intense,” said YBarbo, who lost half of his roof, causing extensive interior ceiling damage.

For several days, he lived out of a small camping tent, cooled by a generator-powered window unit.

While the damage is extensive in Boutte and Paradis, Jewell says no part of his parish escaped Ida unscathed.

“The biggest need is for housing. Five hundred homes were destroyed. Seven thousand with major damage,” said Jewel, who is now working with the state to try and get hundreds of FEMA trailers.

“The state says it will purchase the trailers and get a reimbursement by FEMA to speed up the process,” said Jewell.

Officials are now trying to identify a FEMA trailer site.

While some worry about congressional gridlock possibly holding up hurricane relief money, Jewell believes the politics of Ida’s damage could prove to be useful.

“At the end of the day, I think the New York delegation and the Louisiana delegation will come together because both sustained a lot of damage from this one storm,” said Jewell.

After early delays, Jewell says the Blue Roof program is moving forward.

“We are seeing it ramp up but it was far too slow in the beginning,” said Jewell.

Jewell says that 50 tandem trucks are now chipping away at nearly 2,000,000 yards of debris that line the streets in St. Charles Parish.

“The debris pick-up is happening. We’re averaging over 23,000 yards a day off the streets,” said Jewell.

The recovery will be faster for some than for others, but residents say Boutte will bounce back.

Jewell says power, sewer, and water services are all up and running again in St. Charles Parish.

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