By Cyndi Sellers
OEP Director Danny Lavergne reported to the Police Jury on Tuesday that FEMA has reversed its decision on providing travel trailers in a flood zone. As of last week, he said, 77 people were interested in having a travel trailer placed on their site in Cameron Parish. Of the initial 668 people applying for housing, 250 Cameron Parish residents still need housing. Lavergne said if a family was initially turned down for a mobile home, they may want to apply for a travel trailer.
There are several rules attached to the travel trailers. Residents must follow all local rules, must have a written plan for building a home, must provide water and power at the site within 30 days, and must agree to evacuate if a storm threatens. The travel trailer itself cannot be evacuated. It will be tied down
The lease is for 18 months, after which residents may be able to purchase their trailers or the lease may be extended.
Lavergne said there are a lot of moving parts in this agreement, and the rules change almost daily, but things are moving forward. He thanked the Permit Department, Parish Administrator Katie Armentor, and the OEP team for getting this part done.
He reminded everyone of National Hurricane Preparation Week, saying the Gulf Coast has a 53 percent chance of a major hurricane making landfall this year. Everyone needs a plan, he said, and should consider the strength of their current housing and consult with their insurance agents about coverage before the storms form in the Gulf.
The OEP is now operating the digital information sign on Hwy. 27. Messages to slow down are largely being ignored in spite of a record number of speeding tickets being written as thousands of LNG workers travel the highway each morning and evening. Sheriff Ron Johnson said people are “lining up” each day paying fines, but it seems to be having little effect on speeding.
The OEP is handling the Private Property Debris Removal program, still in the early application phase. Interested persons should log on to ppdr.cameronpj.org to see if they qualify and fill out an application. Those who cannot go on line can call Casie Haynie at 337-775-7048 to set up an appointment to meet at a parish building and get help.
CenterPoint Energy reported to the Police Jury that it is replacing the entire pipeline system from Cameron to east of Creole and elevating substations to 12 feet, at a cost of $2 million. In the meantime, temporary service is available to anyone who wants it. Small trailers holding tanks of compressed natural gas are being placed on customers’ lots, feeding directly into the customers’ lines. Customers may call the company’s 800 number to receive this service.
The new pipelines will be plastic instead of the older steel pipes. Plastic does not corrode and is easily cleaned if the lines become contaminated with water or mud. It will take about a year to complete the hardening of the gas system.
Long Term Recovery Group
The informal Cameron Parish long term recovery group, created to seek ways to help small businesses and homeowners looking to return to the parish, has been formally organized as the Cameron Parish Revitalization Group. Officers are Ashely Buller – Chairperson, Danetta Hayden – Vice Chairperson, and Maeleigh Conner – Secretary. The Cameron Lions Club donated $150,000 as seed money for the Group and will act as fiscal agent until the Group receives its 501c3 designation.
Lions Club President Stephanie Rodrigue said the money was received from various industrial companies and held until the Revitalization Group got organized. The club is also giving $5000 to each school in the parish for hurricane recovery needs.