Gov. Edwards tours St. Tammany Parish damage - - The News for South Mississippi

Gov. Edwards tours St. Tammany Parish damage

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(WVUE) -

Gov. John Bel Edwards hit the ground in St. Tammany Parish on Tuesday for a first-hand look at flood affected areas.

Assessing the situation by air and by land, Edwards toured parts of Western St. Tammany still recovering after floodwaters destroyed homes and businesses. The scene is similar across Louisiana.

“This truly was a statewide event,” Edwards said.

Even after 100,000 sandbags were distributed, water still seeped into St. Joseph Abbey.

“Where they make the bread and where they make the coffins, that was destroyed, all of that,” St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister explained.

Water also made its way into the Washington, St. Tammany electric co-op. Aerial video shows the extent of the damage.

“There have been a lot of people helping people, neighbors helping each other,” State Sen. Sharon Hewitt said.

Edwards says it's heartbreaking watching people pick up the pieces to their lives, literally swept away.

“I spoke to folks in Merryville, 86 years old, husband and wife, they'd been living in the same house for 50 years they've never gotten water in their yard and they've got it halfway up the wall of their house now,” Edwards said.

So many of the residents whose homes are now destroyed, didn't have flood insurance.

Brister says, “In the Northern part of the parish, they're not in a flood plain or flood area so they're not required to have flood insurance for a mortgage.”

Which is why federal disaster assistance will now be so important.

“The FEMA Administrator Fugate, will be in Baton Rouge Thursday. He and I will meet together and make sure that whatever assistance is available as it relates to federal law will be available right here in St. Tammany,” Edwards said.

In the Eastern part of the parish, video shows just how high the water still stands, like near the Indian Village neighborhood and Military Road. The situation, too treacherous for the governor and his team to navigate.

“I think he will come back once we can get him into the places that he can’t get into right now. The flyover is the best way he can do that right now,” Brister said.

As residents here wait patiently for the water to recede, the governor says he's working to get them all of the resources they need.

According to the parish, 615 structures in St. Tammany flooded, but Brister says that doesn't include the damage in the Eastern portion of St. Tammany as there's still too much water, preventing teams from getting in there to assess the situation.

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