During the Aug. 25 Parish council meeting, Ascension Parish Director of Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Richard Webre gave an update of the situation happening throughout the Parish.
He said the number of evacuees at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center shelter have reduced significantly from 800 to roughly 231 people and animals from 1,300 to a little over 800, as of last Thursday.
There is currently 19 debris removal trucks running throughout the Parish that has removed over 7,000 cubic yards of debris so far, Webre said. He estimated that around 17,000 to 19,000 homes were impacted to some degree by the flood.
Residents are asked to separate debris such as appliances, lawn mowers, paint, propane and petroleum products by the roadways so that it can be picked up for removal. A public drop-off point for construction demolition debris is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in the fenced area behind the sewer treatment plant, which can be accessed from the west gate on Ashland Road.
DPW Director Bill Roux gave an overview regarding the pump stations and levees throughout the Parish. He said the cuts made to Alligator Bayou Road are pumping out 800,000 gallons of water per minute into Bayou Manchac, alleviating problems in the Frog Bayou and Spanish Lake areas.
Roux estimates the water elevation to be below nine feet by Friday, which will allow residents along Ridge and Bluff Road to start demolition in their houses.
"Bayou Manchac is steadily falling at the same rate. If it keeps declining and we get to the normal level of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River, and it is getting down to its normal state, that system can handled anything coming up out of the gulf," Roux said in regards to the potential storms in the Gulf of Mexico.
He added that he expects residents will be able to fully use Bluff Road in Dutchtown this week, contingent upon the rain and water levels of Bayou Manchac.
In other matters, the council approved a ratification of executive order to suspend an ordinance to eliminate the ability for recreation vehicles to be utilized as a residential structure on an individual lot due to the recent flooding. Residents will be able to receive a six month permit, at which time the Parish will reevaluate to see if an extension is needed.
An extension to the purchase agreement to the acquisition of People's Water was added. The closing date was set for Aug. 31, however, due to recent events the date has been extended to Sept. 22.
The professional services contract with Duncan Associates was approved. The contract is for the Parish's Transportation Development Impact Fee Ordinance, which will not exceed $35,000.
An ordinance was introduced to revoke the existing 15 foot drainage servitude located on the western boundary of Tract X of the Phillip Haddad Property. Additionally, two ordinances were approved amending the 2016 budget and revoking an existing 15 foot drainage servitude running across the rear lot of the Norman Frederic Property on La. 22 for Scott and Dessa Ledet.