Ida refugees to be in St. Mary Parish for foreseeable future

Parish President David Hanagriff discusses recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida.

FRANKLIN — St. Mary Parish President David Hanagriff said refugees from Hurricane Ida will be staying in the parish for the foreseeable future at Wednesday’s council meeting.

Shelters by the American Red Cross have been set up in Berwick, Patterson, Siracusaville as well as a recently opened shelter in Baldwin that just came online.

“We’re in this for the long haul,” Hanagriff said at the meeting. “A lot of these people came in with the clothes on their back.”

The parish president said St. Mary was fortunate that the early projections of Hurricane Ida did not bear out and areas of St. Mary like Morgan City were saved from the hurricane’s devastating effects.

“Unfortunately it had to go somewhere and it went to Houma and Terrebonne,” Hanagriff said. “We feel for them and we’re helping them out because we know that’s what they would do in the same circumstance.”

The parish president also seemed to address the controversial decision to not issue a mandatory evacuation of the Morgan City area when Ida was imminent.

“When it comes to hurricanes and making decisions, from staging equipment to any decision you have, they’re not done solely by me,” Hanagriff said. “I consult a number of people who have more knowledge than I could possibly have. It’s a collaborative effort and I do that with experienced individuals.”

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