St. Mary Parish public building damage from Isaac tops $500,000
By JEAN L. KAESS
The Federal Emergency Management Agency extended federal disaster aid to include funding for infrastructure repairs in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.
About $537,000 in damage to public buildings and schools across St. Mary Parish was sustained during the storm, according to Duval Arthur, St. Mary Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness director.
The FEMA money will help pay for whatever is above and beyond insurance payments on the buildings, Arthur said.
The three public buildings included the hangar at Perry Flying Center in Patterson and the roofs on parish sewer and water buildings in the Four Corners area, Arthur said.
St. Mary Parish Superintendent of Schools Donald Aguillard said the school system incurred an estimated $130,000 in damages during the storm — none of which will be paid for through insurance because it does not meet the deductible.
“We experienced a wide variety of roof leaks across the parish. Some of these roof leaks are reoccurring, some wind driven and several were new leaks. Reports were received of rain being blown through windows and doors. Minor gutter damage was also evident. Every school reported tree limb and leaf debris.
Roof leaks caused wet ceiling tile, wet floor tile and damaged interior supplies,” a report to the St. Mary Parish School Board during their September meeting stated.
Most notable among a list of damages were:
—M.D. Shannon Elementary, Morgan City: canvas canopy destroyed, roof leaks.
—Morgan City High School stadium: roof damage to concession stand.
—Patterson Junior High: roof leaks, blown in windows.
—Franklin High School: replace roof on football stadium, repair interior of stadium and sound system, roof leaks at school.
—Franklin Junior High: shed blown off piers, roof leaks.
—Foster Elementary, Franklin: tree limbs damaged canopy, roof leaks.
Eligible applicants in St. Mary Parish can apply for FEMA public assistance reimbursement for repairs to roads and bridges, water control facilities, buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and recreational facilities and other facilities.
Supplementary funding under the program goes to the state and its agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations.
Under the program, FEMA obligates funds to the state for 75 percent of eligible costs, while the applicant covers the remaining 25 percent. The state forwards the federal funds to the eligible local governments or organizations that incurred costs.
FEMA Region 6 Public Information Officer HR Holman said parish and municipal officials will gather soon for an application briefing in which they will receive information from the state on how to file for assistance.
Afterward, a meeting will be held where they will submit their needs applications to FEMA. The agency will inspect the damage, the applicant will have to foot the bill to have the work done and then FEMA will reimburse its portion of the expense, Holman said.