By Cyndi Sellers
Even though Cameron, Creole and Grand Chenier are still in mandatory evacuation, essential services are being provided in the area. Ten volunteer firefighters of the Cameron and Creole Fire Departments, including Fire Chief Tim Dupont, are camped out behind the South Cameron Memorial Hospital along with all their trucks, providing fire protection to the three communities.
Cameron Parish Ambulance District #1 is operating out of the main ambulance station next door to the hospital. The district covers the Cameron, Creole, and Grand Chenier area.
The firefighter camp was set up around Sept. 8, Dupont says. At first the five campers were on individual generator power, but after two weeks FEMA provided a large generator. FEMA also provides the fuel to keep essential services operating.
In Dupont’s two districts, only one of four fire stations is likely to be useable. The Cameron main station sustained only minor water damage upstairs and repairable damage downstairs. Grand Chenier’s main fire station seems from the outside to be in pretty good shape.
So far, the firefighters have only had one call, a grass fire in Grand Chenier. Individuals have been able to take time off to work on their houses, those who have them. The entire team evacuated with their trucks to Beaumont. Texas for Hurricane Delta, but the wind was worse there than expected, Dupont said.
“We are down here providing service for these communities,” Dupont says. “We are doing the best we can under the circumstances. There is not much left to burn, as long as there are no grass fires.”
A burn ban is still in effect and is especially important where large amounts of vegetative debris are piled up along the coast. Fire trucks cannot go into the marsh to fight grass fires.
A Burn Ban order remains in place for Cameron Parish. In Cameron Parish, private burning shall only be allowed by permission of the local fire department or local fire chiefs.
Cameron/Creole – Tim Dupont, 337-912-0927
Grand Chenier – Shawn Bonsall, 337-274-8291
Grand Lake – Toby Landry, 337-912-0045
Hackberry -Michael Welch, 337-274-2717
Johnson Bayou – Ronnie Doucett, 337-526-7171
Lowry – Barry Watkins, 337-224-1442
Klondike – Mickie Feverjean, 337-329-3403