Courtesy Photo | Gene Barattini gives information to non-profit organization representatives who are helping with flood recovery in the parish.

A group of non-profit organizations is bringing their expertise to Bossier Parish to assist residents who are beginning the recovery phase from the historic flood that hit the area.

Gene Barattini, deputy director of the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said the groups are providing a myriad of services including residential cleanup, debris removal and essentials like food and bottled water.

During a Tuesday operational briefing, organizations introduced included:
• Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, assisting with debris removal and cleanup primarily in the areas north of Sligo Rd. Alan Knuckles said the services provided are free and urged residents to call 318-229-9645 for information.
• Samaritan’s Purse is concentrating on areas in the parish south of Sligo Rd. with about 70 volunteers. Wayne Shoemaker said his group is helping everyone with a focus on families that maybe uninsured or underinsured, the elderly and those with a family member who may be deployed by the military.
• Lavida Whitson with Adventist Community Services of the Seventh-Day Adventists said her group is working with city and parish officials. The group has brought to Bossier Parish a mobile unit with donated items that can go to the areas in need.
• Salvation Army workers are feeding first responders and will be moving into neighborhoods with food, according to Maj. Ed Bennix. Bennix said individuals needing meals should call 510-7069. Salvation Army mobile centers will be in the Tall Timbers and Pecan Valley neighborhoods Tuesday.

Other information noted during Tuesday’s operational briefing included:
• Bayous and streams in Bossier Parish are showing a very slow decline, according to Brandi Hughes of the National Weather Service. Lake Bistineau remains at record levels but has shown a very slight decline. A slight chance of rain is forecast for later in the week.
• Mark Long of parish levee board said all levees are holding steady, with water levels dropping slightly.
• South Bossier Fire District 2 Chief Kenny Tyson said 18 persons still remain in seven homes in his area, “…and they are not coming out. We’re going door-to-door checking on people who are staying in their homes. We’re staying in constant contact with them.” Tyson said one individual had to be rescued Monday night after driving around a barricade on U.S. 71 and hitting deep water.
• Bossier Parish school system chief of security Danny Dison said student attendance at Elm Grove Elementary was up to roughly 80 percent Tuesday. No problems have been noted with school busses or the revised routes some had to take.

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