BY HECTOR SAN MIGUEL
Thousands of Calcasieu Parish residents are home today to inspect their property, clean up their yards, and - officials hope - go back by day’s end to where they were staying.
At 10 a.m. today, Sept. 30, parish officials will kick off the “look-and-leave” phase of the post-hurricane Calcasieu ComeBack program.
Full electrical power isn’t expected to be restored in the area for a few weeks, and services are lacking as a result. Despite that, elected officials are still not confident that everyone who comes to look will indeed leave.
Calcasieu ComeBack was hammered out in a closed-door meeting Thursday among the parish’s six mayors and Calcasieu Parish Police Jury President Hal McMillin.
McMillin said residents who visit should not bring their children — and should keep their hotel reservations.
“We would like for them to come in and assess the situation and leave as soon as possible. When they get here they are going to see what we have been through the last few days. There is a lot of devastation. A lot of streets have been cleared. It looks a lot better,” he said.
“Electricity will continue to remain a central issue for the next 14 to 20 days," said Calcasieu Parish Administrator Mark McMurry said. "Hopefully that could be a little bit better. It could be little bit worst. There won’t be an exactness to that we can give anyone right now.”
McMurry said the date when the second phase of the plan called the “Calcasieu Comeback” will be implemented hasn’t been announced yet.
A publicity campaign aimed at those returning today for the look-and-leave visit will be conducted through brochures and with a telephone number residents can call for information, 721-3840.
Lake Charles doesn’t have potable water, but Sulphur and Westlake do.
Citizens returning to the parish must be prepared to be self-sufficient, with their own food and water, parish officials said. They also must stay off the streets at night and have access to cash, as credit card usage will be difficult. Elderly residents, children and other special-needs citizens are strongly urged not to return during the first phase, officials said.
Residents will be asked to return to their temporary lodging locations at their own discretion and wait to permanently re-enter at a later, undetermined date.
Informational checkpoints are at the Interstate 10 exits in Iowa, at Highway 171 in Lake Charles, at Enterprise Boulevard in Lake Charles, in Westlake, at La. 108 in Sulphur, at Beglis Parkway in Sulphur, at Ruth Street in Sulphur and at Exit No. 7 in Vinton.
Local officials are asking for cooperation with and observance of the following rules and statements:
Friday, September 30
BY HECTOR SAN MIGUEL
Posted by American Press at 7:26 AM