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Gov. Edwards discusses Ida damage to Livingston, St. Helena, and St. Tammany parishes

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 1:57 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2021 at 2:51 PM CDT
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LIVINGSTON, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards held a news conference about damage from Hurricane Ida to Livingston, St. Helena, and St. Tammany parishes as well as other parts of the state on Saturday, Sept. 4.

RELATED: Biden walks storm-ravaged Louisiana: ‘I know you’re hurting’

“This is going to be a marathon, one step at a time. Every day we’re going to put more people’s lives in a better place than when they woke up that morning,” Gov. Edwards said.

The recovery process could be greatly impacted by potential severe weather.

“We are currently tracking another tropical weather system,” he said. “There’s a system moving into the central Gulf and it’s going to come close to Louisiana. We’re not predicting it’s going to become a hurricane, but they cannot rule it out.”

Impacts of that storm could come as soon as the end of next week.

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“While we don’t want any more [hurricanes], we don’t get a vote,” Gov. Edwards, said.

Of the various recovery programs currently available, Gov. Edwards stressed the Blue Roof Program, which is offered by the Army Corps of Engineers.

“The same program delivered to about 13,000 people after Hurricane Laura,” Gov. Edwards said, “and the ones that were installed held up when Hurricane Delta came through. The people who put them up on their own had them blown off during Delta and they had worse damage because of that.”

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Roughly 715,000 people are still without power in the state. That’s down from roughly 1.1 million directly after the storm.

RELATED: Entergy announces restoration times for all of Louisiana

Governor Edwards noted that four deaths have been attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning due to a improperly ventilated generator.

“You don’t know it’s happening until it’s too late,” he said. “The very sad reality is that people will often turn on a generator to make it cool enough to go to sleep, and then they won’t wake up.”

Year-round, professionally installed generators have also been linked to carbon-monoxide illness, Gov. Edwards added.

The following generator safety tips are simple, but effective in saving lives:

  • Do not place generators inside of any structure including garages, carports and sheds
  • Instead, place the generator at least 20 feet away from your home, down-wind away from open doors, windows and vents
  • Before refueling, turn the generator off and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes
  • Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet
  • Instead, use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators
  • Do not use in rain or wet conditions
  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby
  • Have a carbon monoxide monitor for your home

Along with physical safety, there are resources for those feeling the impacts of stress on mental health.

“If you need someone to talk to, there are several hotlines available and they’re available around the clock, 24-7,” Gov. Edwards.

  • Keep Calm Hotline: 1-866-310-7977
  • Behavioral Health Recovery Hotline: 833-333-1132

Most importantly, the Governor is asking everyone to be take this recovery one day at a time.

“I’m asking you to be patient. I’m asking you to be good neighbors. And I know you will be. Louisianans are nothing but compassionate.”

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