‘Blue roof’ program to bring familiar tarps to Louisiana parishes impacted by Hurricane Ida | News

Federal officials will provide free temporary roofs for Orleans, Jefferson and 11 other parishes damaged by Hurricane Ida, Governor John Bel Edwards said Wednesday.

The coverings, known as blue roofs or blue sails, dotted the landscape after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and other storms.

'Blue sails' for homeowners?  Federal officials assess the need for temporary roofs

Federal officials said Tuesday they are assessing the damage to the roof from Hurricane Ida before deciding whether to offer free “blue tarps” to homes…

“I encourage homeowners to take advantage of this program,” Edwards told reporters at a briefing in Gretna.

Residents can register at blueroof.us or, for more information, by calling 1-888-ROOF-Blu.

Meanwhile, FEMA has no plans to open disaster recovery centers in southern Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Ida, officials said.

The centers are mobile sites where storm victims can obtain information about relief efforts and FEMA.

Officials urge those who need help to call 1-800-621-3362 or go online at DisasterAssistance.gov.

“Anyone who is a Hurricane Ida survivor should apply to FEMA for individual assistance,” Edwards said. “In the past day and a half, they (FEMA officials) have set records for how many people signed up so quickly and honestly that they also got tens of millions of dollars out the door for those families.”

The announcement followed a series of checks by the US Army Corps of Engineers as to whether roof damage justified the tarps.

Our opinion: more blue sails, but still big holes in roofs and life from hurricanes

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The tarpaulins are fiber reinforced foil to cover damaged roofs until permanent repairs are made.

The program focuses on primary homes or permanently occupied rental homes with less than 50% structural damage. Holiday homes are not eligible.

Roofs that are flat or made of metal or slate or asbestos tiles are not eligible.

All storm waste must be removed to qualify for a blue roof.

The work is administered by the US Army Corps of Engineers for FEMA.

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Edwards said that after Hurricane Laura hit the Lake Charles area in 2020, officials installed 13,000-14,000 blue roofs.

The governor said that when Hurricane Delta hit the same area a few weeks later, “it was very clear which homeowners had their roofs in the blue roof program. Those roofs stayed in place.”

While President Joe Biden has declared 25 parishes in Southeast Louisiana as disaster areas, 13 were eligible for the blue roof program. They are the parishes of Orleans, Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne.

Once an application is made to FEMA, a home inspection can be scheduled to verify damage.

Inspections are done without entering the property.

Inspectors maintain social distancing, assess the grounds and confirm interior damage over the phone.

When an inspection takes place, applicants must have photo ID, a list of those who lived in the home at the time of the hurricane, and all damage to both immovable and personal property.

Applicants will receive an email or a letter, depending on what they requested in their application.

The notice will indicate whether the applicant is entitled to assistance, how much, how the assistance can be used and how to appeal the decision of FEMA in case of disagreement.

Those who can appeal a refusal letter have 60 days to decide.

Aid is determined by capturing essential losses and needs for what FEMA provides.

The inspectors do not decide whether applicants are eligible.

People seeking help can also create a personal account with the FEMA Disaster Relief Center at: DisasterAssistance.gov.

Applicants will be instructed to set up a personal identification number so that their information is secure.

This allows them to review their application, provide updates on personal information and needs, view letters and messages from FEMA, get details of any additional documents, upload documents to the applicant’s file, and view information collected by FEMA.

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