Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards held a private meeting with a group of local officials from the Natchitoches area and neighboring parishes Saturday, September 5 at the City Council meeting room in the Natchitoches Arts Center. The Governor met with Members of the Natchitoches City Council, Mayor Ronnie Williams of Natchitoches, Mayor LaRon Winslow of Campti, Natchitoches Sheriff Stuart Wright, Natchitoches DA Billy Joe Harrington, Natchitoches Parish President John Richmond, Senator Louie Bernard, Representative Rodney Schamerhorn, NSU President Chris Maggio and representatives from the Louisiana National Guard, state government and FEMA as well as other officials and interested parties.
According to the governor’s communications director, Shauna Sanford, Governor Edwards is traveling to areas impacted by Hurricane Laura and meeting with local officials. The meetings are intended to update local officials on the state’s recovery efforts and to ascertain their needs and areas in which the state can assist local governments. In addition to Natchitoches, the governor has also visited Winn Parish.
Governor Edwards spoke to reporters from the Natchitoches Parish Journal and several TV stations after the meeting. He noted the enormous efforts in restoring power to devastated areas as well as the work of the National Guard and emergency officials in clearing debris and helping those affected by the hurricane. Gov Edwards also reminded us that we are still facing the COVID-19 crisis and that this has complicated the hurricane response in terms of sheltering and transporting evacuees. The governor praised individual citizens and faith organizations who stepped in to help their neighbors by checking in on them making sure they had what they needed.
Lastly, he reminded Louisianans who have suffered damage from Hurricane Laura and its aftermath to register with FEMA. As he said: “This is going to be a marathon. It will not be quick.” Look after your neighbors and help each other. Good advice anytime, but all the more so in these trying times.