Archive for the 'Slidell Relief' Category

Twin Span Opening?

Friday, October 14th, 2005

Jeepers, check it.  Here is says that one of the twin spans will open today.  Good news.

Slidell Job Fair Set for 11/1

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

via NO CityBusiness:

SLIDELL — The Louisiana Department of Labor will hold a Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Slidell Municipal Auditorium, 2056 Second St. The event is free to employers and employees. Space is limited for employers and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate, contact Shane Boucher at sboucher@ldol.state.la.us.•

Slidell Habitat House Featured on Today Show

Monday, October 3rd, 2005

The Today Show was in Slidell, ahem, today.  Here is a link to one of the stories. Judy Farrow had told me about this yesterday, and I had some really good info & I should have alerted you all.  But, sorry, I slacked.  So busy since we got home.  Anyway, enjoy a bit of good news. 

Red Cross Station Open At Old Outlet Mall

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Via WWL web site comes word that the Red Cross has a drive-thru center open at the old outlet mall for those seeking financial assistance:

Slidell opens drive thru Red Cross aid station
04:48 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 28, 2021
Kelly Gustafson / City of Slidell
The American Red Cross has opened a "drive thru" operation for residents in impacted areas to register for financial assistance. They will be operating for the next two weeks in the Slidell outlet mall on Old Spanish Trail. Hours of operation: Monday - Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Police are directing traffic but it is extremely slow along I-10 and the main roads leading to Old Spanish Trail at this time. Residents are advised to wait a few days until the "rush" of people subsides.
The Red Cross will continue operating in Slidell every day for the next two weeks.

SOS: Save Our Small Businesses

Monday, September 26th, 2005

Here’s a piece in the News-Banner about the obstacles facing Slidell small businesses.  According to the article, the Chamber has heard from only 200 of the more than 700 small businesses in town.  They quote the owner of Dunaway’s at length in the piece.  He wants everyone to know that he’s open for business.  Earlier, I circulated an email from Doug Reker which listed places he knew were open on East Gause.  Let’s create a running list.  Send me what you know about our local businesses.  Who’s open?  Who needs help?  If you have a choice about where you’re going to spend your money tonight, spend with a local small business.  They need our help and support.  & will for some time.  More from the article:

The temporary shortage of power was just one more blow dealt weeks after Hurricane Katrina battered Slidell, leaving two to eight or more feet of water in some businesses and leaving others in a heap of splinters and concrete slabs.

"Honestly, it (Katrina) is going to take its toll on a lot of small businesses," said Brenda Reine, executive director of the St. Tammany Parish Economic Development Foundation. "But the same thing happened after Camille. Then there was a boom (of development)."

Reine said citizens looking in from the outside world would be surprised how business owners are taking matters into their own hands, scrubbing floors, blue tarping roofs and searching for office space.

Her office is "inundated" with calls from several business owners some simply wanting a place to hook up a computer and others searching for a 40,000 to 50,000-square-foot facility to house employees, computers and equipment.

"Our main goal is to get citizens back to work," she said.

To date, the Greater Slidell Area Chamber of Commerce has heard from 283 of the 700 plus businesses in Slidell. Twenty of them will close, and three don’t plan to reopen, said Jamene Dahmer, the chamber’s director.

"The overall feeling (from store owners) is an absolute business of rebuilding," said Dahmer. "But the lack of communication is our biggest concern. It’s the information age, and businesses are used to being able to communicate."

Felt Like A Lifetime

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

How are we to meet such anxiety?  Form ranks & draw together.  Bring on the food & drink.  Let my people hear music.  A ditty from Better Than Ezra.  Anyone remember when BTE played the old Sarraille’s?  When Nicky had it?  A Lifetime (~3.5 MB mp3).  A total melancholy rocker about taking the full measure of things in a moment of despair.  Even in defeat, we exult.  Is that Louisiana or what? 

Trash Hauling Costs: $100 Million

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Just in case you wondered how much it’s going to cost to haul off all the mess in town, nola.com comes through with the answer.  At least the operation is being run by a hometown boy, Brian Reine.  Hey Brian, I’m not positive, but I’m thinking the SBBA fields are in sore need of some love. 

SBA Disaster Loan Workshop in Slidell on Friday

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Posted on Monday 19 September 2021
If you are in a declared disaster area and have suffered damage to your business or loss of sales from Hurricane Katrina, you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance through the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program, also known as the FEMA Business Disaster Loan. Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center, along with several area partners, is offering a series of workshops throughout the Northshore. Classes being held this week include:

Tuesday, September 20 - Bogalusa Chamber of Commerce - 9am and 1pm sessions
Wednesday, September 21 - Fontainebleau Jr. High School (Mandeville)- 9am and 1pm sessions
Thursday, September 22 - SLU SBDC (Hammond)- 9am session ONLY
Friday, September 23 - STP Library in Slidell - 9am session ONLY

The Disaster Business Loan is specifically designed to assist businesses affected by national disasters. These loans are available to businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations. These funds, up to $1.5 million, can be used to repair damage to real estate, machinery, equipment and inventory. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are also available to small businesses unable to pay bills or meet operating expenses. Interest rates can be as low as 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. For more information contact Southeastern’s Small Business Development Center at 985-549-3831 or sbdc@selu.edu. You can also visit their website at www.selu.edu/sbdc .

Clean Up Report

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Howard Baulch went to Slidell to help with the clean up, and has posted an extensive write up here

New FEMA Disaster Center to Open Today at John Slidell Park

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Nola.com on a new FEMA center to open at the park today at 9:00. 

Each One Save One

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

Thinking peer to peer here.  Sister cities, adoptive families, businesses across America banding together to save specific small businesses in Slidell, Waveland, etc.  First, have to draw the map.  Let’s start at the city level.  Help me make a list of all the cities impacted by the storm.  Then we’ll find partner cities for each.  E.g. Maybe NYC takes on NOLA.  Portland adopts Slidell. Etc.  Then the people of those towns could work to flow very specific help to each adopted city.  We’re going direct with this.  First I need the list.  Post up a comment or email me. 

Mayor: Storm Damaged Tax Base As Well

Friday, September 16th, 2005

From a Reuters piece:

MIAMI/SLIDELL, Louisiana (Reuters) - Hurricane Katrina not only dirtied and damaged Slidell, Louisiana, a city across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, but stopped up the tax flows needed for cleanup and getting government back to daily life.

"Our tax base has pretty well been dried up. This is a crisis," Mayor Ben Morris told Reuters.

In Slidell, where the homes of 10,000 to 15,000 people were left uninhabitable, extra costs of $250,000 for overtime pay for city workers were just a start of financial difficulties.

URGENT AID NEEDED

Slidell needs fast reimbursement for disaster relief expenses from the federal government, Morris said.

"In 90 days, without reimbursement from the federal government, we would fall into a default," he said, although added that he expects the money to come in well before then.

"It’s gonna be one hell of a challenge. We still have to pay our people, I still have to keep the lights on and run a city," Morris said,

The August 29 storm and massive flooding not only savaged New Orleans, Slidell and other cities and towns, but threw into disarray the normal ways Gulf Coast governments collect taxes.

FEMA Needs a Place to Stay

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Maybe access is part of FEMA’s problem.  Here’s an email I just received:

if anyone has a room to rent, or knows about any hotel re-openings, state park with cabins, apartments with short leases, etc., let FEMA know so that they can get the word out to their people in the area.

Help Needed

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Blogger and Slidell resident hit hard by the storm needs help.  See this page for more details. 

Advocate: Slidell Recovery Going Slowly

Wednesday, September 14th, 2005

The Baton Rouge paper has a lenghty piece on the recovery efforts at home, including a followup on Tony Nata, whose photo we had posted just after the storm.  A snippet:

Slidell is home to about 30,000 people, but the greater Slidell area is home to about 90,000 residents. Much of the greater Slidell area is located east, west and south of the city — including Eden Isles, the Rigolets, Quail Ridge, Belle Acres, Treasure Isle, Bayou Liberty, White Kitchen and the Pontchartrain Drive fishing camps where Nata lives. And much of the greater Slidell area was flattened by Katrina or flooded by the tidal surge that followed the hurricane.

Meanwhile, utility employees worked feverishly to restore power Tuesday and by the end of the day more than 60 percent of the downtown area was back on line.

But in the outlying areas, power is still out and the water and sewer systems were destroyed.

Up and down streets were piles of soggy carpeting, furniture, and appliances homeowners had pulled out of their homes. Many of the garages still standing had messages written on them including "FEMA stop here" or "House for sale, cheap," or "Need Insurance adjuster."

Few businesses have reopened in Slidell, but still some opened their doors.

"It is going slowly in that area," said Suzanne Parsons, a spokeswoman for St. Tammany Parish government. "These are some of the hardest hit areas in our parish."

0910 Message from Ben Morris

Sunday, September 11th, 2005

Mayor Ben Morris published a message to Slidell yesterday:


Hurricane Katrina Update 9-10-05

To the Citizens of Slidell,

The Weather Service reports that Slidell had sustained winds of 176 mph and gusts of 190+ mph during Hurricane Katrina.  In addition, Slidell was hit by a 23’-26’ storm surge that devastated much of the city.  This has been very difficult for everyone, but I want to report that we are making great progress thanks to the many city workers, police officers and firefighters, citizens and volunteers who have worked so hard over these last two weeks.  Here is the latest:
 
Our water service is now operational and the drinking water in the City of Slidell is safe to drink and cook with.  You do not need to boil your water first.
 
Our sewer system is also operational.
 
Telephone service is back up and running; however, Charter Communications has still not recovered.
 
Clean up is still in progress, thanks to our city work crews and the efforts of over 400 United Stated Marines from around the country.
 
Security remains tight throughout the City of Slidell.  Curfew is still in affect from 9:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m. and is being strictly enforced.  The Slidell Police Department is receiving assistance from police officers from across the nation, as well as the Louisiana National Guard and the Alabama National Guard.
 
Cleco continues to do a tremendous job.  There are working lights now on major thoroughfares throughout the city and in some subdivisions.  Considering the catastrophic damage to the system, it is absolutely amazing that we have come as far as we have.
 
Northshore High School is now designated as a Red Cross Shelter.  It is fully staffed and operational.
 
All of the city government buildings were severely damaged from Katrina.  Because of the required repairs on these facilities, your city government will continue to serve you from trailers located in the large parking lot just north of Heritage Park.
 
We have queried our 325 city workers and police officers and have determined that almost half of our employees have had catastrophic damage to their homes and are basically homeless.  These same employees continue to work hard every day to help restore the City of Slidell.  I am so proud of their efforts.
 
We are fairly confident that there were no storm-related deaths or serious injuries in the City of Slidell.  Between 300 and 400 people were rescued by boat during the storm by the Slidell Police Department, city workers, and volunteers.  Those rescued were brought to shelters around the city.  Those people who still remain in shelters are now in the Red Cross shelter at Northshore High School.
 
Feeding locations are open throughout the city including First Baptist Church on Pontchartrain Drive, Harvest Church in the John Jay Shopping Center, Grace Memorial Church on Pearl Street, and the vacant lot next to Starbuck’s on Front Street.  FEMA is handing out ice, water and MREs at the old Wal-Mart on Gause Blvd & I-10.
 
The West Slidell Post Office is open.  They are also handling mail from the very-damaged Olde Towne location.  The Post Office will begin limited mail delivery today.  If delivery is not yet possible in your neighborhood, you may pick up your mail from the West Slidell Post Office.  In addition, Social Security checks can be picked up at the West Slidell Post Office.
 
St. Tammany Parish schools have a target date of October 3 to reopen schools.  Please continue to check their website www.stpsb.org for daily updates.
 
Many stores have reopened including Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s and some grocery stores.  Restaurants are also beginning to reopen.
 
Banks have reopened, including Hibernia, Whitney, Parish and CPB.
 
There have been many cities and communities from across the United States that are offering and providing assistance to our rehabilitation efforts.  There are too many to list here, but I will properly thank each and every one in time.
 
Thank you to the citizens of Slidell for your assistance and patience as we all continue to strive to regain the quality of life that we had in this community prior to the arrival of Katrina.
 
Thank you and stay safe,
Mayor Ben Morris

The Marines Have Landed

Friday, September 9th, 2005

This from the NY Times today, on the Marines flowing into Slidell to help out.  Rest assured that my buddy Gerry Ormerod is working very hard from Fort Worth to get his Marines ready to roll into SE La. and start helping as well.   The effort is huge.  From the story:

SLIDELL, La., Sept. 8 - In November, the First Battalion, Eighth Marines, fought the most pitched battle of the Iraq war, attacking insurgents dug into mosques and narrow streets until the city of Falluja was virtually leveled.

Today, many of the same marines are helping this hurricane-battered city inch toward recovery, shoveling stinking mud from a church and roaming the streets in a borrowed pickup delivering food, water and ice to needy families

 

Needed: Contact at Aldersgate to help me handle donations

Friday, September 9th, 2005

We want to start taking donations for very targeted relief efforts in Slidell, providing immediate help to those hit hardest.  Insurance & FEMA money will take a while.  People need the basics and our support in the interim.  Can someone at Aldersgate help me with this?  I’m sure we have a fund set up.  I’d like to use that fund to channel donations and work with the team to put in place a quick way to identify need and disburse help. 

Call me at 985.774.1619 or 214.764.1437.  Phones are tough, though.  Best way is to email to brian@oberkirchs.com.

 

North Carolina High School Teams Raising Money for Slidell

Friday, September 9th, 2005

Thanks fellas.  The story:

The North Forsyth and Mount Tabor high-school basketball teams are taking the lead in collecting donations to help victims of Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, La. A basketball team from Slidell played in a tournament here last winter.

Donations will be sent to the Feed The Children Organization to go to Slidell. Donations can be made at each school or at each school’s athletics events (football, volleyball, soccer). Checks should be made out to "Feed the Children." For more information call Mike Muse, the head basketball coach at North Forsyth, at 661-4880.

Presbyterian Connection in Slidell?

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Tim McCalmont writes in looking for a connection to the Slidell Presbyterian church:

Brian
I am the pastor at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa, CA looking for ways to partner with a church and help in all of this.  I am looking for anything you might tell us about the Presbyterian church (1041 9th AV) there in Slidell and what might be their situation.  We would like to help.  Anything you can tell us, or any way you can hook me up with someone who can help us get in touch?
 
Tim

Beau Chamale Offers Assistance

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

Here’s a post from Beau Chamale (Yep, I’m assuming it’s that Chamale.  Good on ya, Beau.):

Dear fellow citizens of Slidell,

For Generations my family has been fond of the area and its great history.
At this time of need, we would like to extend our gratitude and hearts to all of us affected.

If I can be of any assistance, please advise

With all of my love and affection
Beau Chamale
Contact info:
Beau Chamale - beau@thenorthwest.com - 5165230075

$2,000 Debit Cards for Storm Victims

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

Michelle Baccus writes in (things are good when Bacchus shows up):

Brian,
 
I came across this and wasn’t sure if you wanted to post it. I am from the Slidell area (live in Nashville now), well my entire family for that matter, and they have all been displaced and do not have a home to go home to. My grandparents and father are from South Slidell, Eden Ilses and Salmen High/Lourdes area. Anyways I am looking for resources for them. People that are registered with FEMA might want to check into this. Here is the website on MSNBC that has the article and phone number.
 
$2,000 debit cards for Katrina victims
The federal government plans to begin doling out debit cards worth $2,000 each to adult victims of Hurricane Katrina, a government source said Wednesday.

 

 

Here is the link to the story Michelle is referencing.

 

Slidell Account from a Relief Worker

Wednesday, September 7th, 2005

In depth account of what is going on in town from a relief worker there.  Bless your heart.  Thanks for the help.  Listen to how our people are handling this adversity with grace:

Person after person when asked what their need was told us exactly what there need was.

"I don’t need any water, but do you have 3 pillows?"
"I don’t need those pillows, do you have any tums or asprin"
"I don’t need that cereal, save it for the babies…do you have any
socks?"
"We have plenty of water, but we need a little food"

Almost to a person they began with what they didn’t need….almost to a person they would tell us who needed a certain item more than they did. I was not prepared for this selflessness. I was prepared for gun-battles, military check points and defense of our truck - later I felt foolish for this.

Plans to Open Twin Spans in 30-45 Days

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

This from Nola.com:

I-10 twin bridges work to begin soon
Sept. 6, 3:20 p.m.

Repairs to the Interstate 10 twin bridges over Lake Pontchartrain between New Orleans and Slidell could begin as early as next week, state officials said Tuesday. The bridge was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Gordon Nelson, assistant secretary of operations for the state Department of Transportation and Development, said the state plans to open bids Friday and have the eastbound lanes open for two-way traffic within 30-45 days.
"We will work 24/7 to get this in service as soon as possible," Nelson said. He could not say how much the project would cost, but guessed that it would be about $4 million.
While the short-term project will create a route between Slidell and New Orleans, the department’s long-term plan is to rebuild the spans at a higher elevation and make it three lanes in each direction, Nelson said.
To help speed the movement of equipment and material, Gov. Kathleen Blanco has signed an executive order relaxing the weight limits on trucks, Nelson said.

Updated Slidell Recovery Info

Tuesday, September 6th, 2005

Latest from Times-Picayune:

ST. TAMMANY PARISH
Although must of the parish remained without electricity Tuesday, more
stores and gasoline stations continued to open with the help of
trucked-in backup generators.
Supplies and hours of operation are limited at most locations.
Meanwhile, several aid stations have been set up to help residents recover from the storm.

FEMA EMERGENCY DISTRIBUTION CENTERS
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Cavenham Park – La. 41, Pearl River
Old Wal-Mart store - I-10 and Gause Blvd., Slidell
Target store in Stirling center - I-12 and La. 21, near Covington

CHURCH-BASED DISTRIBUTION CENTERS
Harvest Church - John Jay Center (former Tammany Mall),
Pontchartrain Drive, Slidell
Grace Memorial Baptist Church - Pearl Street, Slidell
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church - Mandeville
Tammany Oaks Church of Christ – La. 59, near Mandeville

SHELTERS/HOT MEALS
The American Red Cross is serving meals twice a day- from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
and 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. - at all shelter locations, all but one of which is a
school. Food is limited and those not staying in the shelter may not be
able to get a meal at those shelters that are full. The shelters are at the following locations:
Abita Springs Middle - Abita Springs
Bayou Lacombe Middle - Lacombe
Bonne Ecole Elementary - Slidell (FULL)
Clearwood Junior High - Slidell
Creekside Junior High - Pearl River (FULL)
Pineview Middle - Covington
Fifth Ward Junior High – Bush
John Slidell Park – Slidell (FULL)
Northshore High - Slidell
Pearl River High – Pearl River (FULL)
Riverside Elementary - Pearl River
Sixth Ward Elementary - Pearl River
Whispering Forest Elementary - Slidell
William Pitcher Junior High – Covington (FULL)

OTHER MEAL LOCATIONS
Covington – Boston Street across from the old parish courthouse.
Slidell – Slidell Memorial’s Founders Medical Building, Robert Blvd.

HOSPITALS
Power restored to all four general hospitals – Lakeview Regional
Medical Center near Mandeville; NorthShore Regional Medical Center and
Slidell Memorial Hospital, both on Gause Blvd., Slidell; and St. Tammany
Parish Hospital, S. Tyler St., Covington – and to Louisiana Heart
Hospital on La. 433 north of Lacombe.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTERS
Those calling from out of the parish must use 985 area code.
Parish – 985-898-2323
Slidell – 646-4261 or 646-4381

ACCESS ST. TAMMANY RADIO REPORTS
730 AM on the dial. Live and taped information and updates from
parish officials and others on the situation in the parish. Broadcasting
from parish Emergency Operations Center in Covington, with signal
strength east to Slidell and west to Hammond. Work is under way to expand signal range.

POSTAL SERVICE
Temporary address changes

Until regular mail delivery is resumed, those without internet
availability, call 1-800-275-877 to fill out an electronic change
of address form. Those whose internet service is functioning may go to
www.usps.com. Otherwise, go to the nearest post office.
Social Security recipients in the Madisonville (70447 ZIP),
Mandeville (70471) and Slidell (70458), with proper identification, may pick up
their checks at the post office in Hammond, 105 N. Railroad Ave.
Beginning Thursday, the USPS will be returning SSA checks to their original
distribution points unless a temporary change of address form is on
file.

Sources: Staff research, parish government Web site at www.stpgov.org