The Latest: Georgia groups send supplies to Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):

9:10 a.m.

A number of organizations from Georgia have joined together to bring needed supplies to those affected by the flooding in the Baton Rouge area.

The ‘Convoy of Care’ includes support from Caring for Others, Inc., Georgia Motor Trucking Association, several law enforcement organizations and media groups, law firms and as well as several other corporations and agencies.

The supplies include new clothes for men, women and children, water, toiletries and school supplies, among other items. They were donated by Atlanta residents and Caring for Others, a charitable organization whose focus is eradicating poverty.

The supplies were trucked to Baton Rouge as part of a five tractor-trailer convoy that arrived Wednesday night. The convoy was given a police escort from Atlanta to Baton Rouge and supplies are being distributed Thursday.


8 a.m.

Business and economic development groups from across south Louisiana have teamed up to launch the Louisiana Small Business Rebirth Fund, which aims to give grants to companies hurt by the historic flood.

Ansley Zehnder, a spokeswoman for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, said in a news release the fund will give grants of between $1,000 to $10,000 to small businesses.

While the exact scope of the damage from the flooding that started Aug. 12 is still being determined, the chamber said there are an estimated 12,000 small businesses located in areas that took on floodwater.

To be eligible for the funding, a business must be located in the 20 parishes included in the federal disaster declaration, have 50 or fewer employees and have been in business on Aug. 10.


7:55 a.m.

Baton Rouge’s flooded first responders will be allowed to live on city-parish land in housing provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council says firefighters and police officers whose homes were made uninhabitable by the floods that devastated the region will be allowed to live in temporary housing under an agreement approved Wednesday.

Law enforcement and political leaders have repeatedly praised first responders for rescuing flood victims across the parish while many firefighters and police officers knew their own houses were flooded and they and their families could not go back home.

City-parish Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel tells The Advocate ( the first responders will be at the top of the list for the housing.

Daniel said leaders are not sure yet where the housing for first responders will be placed


7:30 a.m.

Louisiana’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has relaxed some restrictions to ensure that customers affected by the recent flooding can get health care, medicine and medical supplies.

The company said in a news release Blue Cross is expanding its more extensive Preferred Care PPO network to provide in-network coverage to its HMO Louisiana and Community Blue members living in areas affected by the flood. The company also will allow early refills and the replacement of some medical supplies to help members in the aftermath.

The company said HMO Louisiana and Community Blue members may use the larger Blue Cross Preferred Care PPO network for care if they have relocated outside of their plan’s service area or if their regular doctor’s office or clinic has been damaged.

All acute hospitals in the affected areas are fully operational and able to treat patients.


2 a.m.

Mobile homes will fill front yards across southern Louisiana again, just as they did after Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA is bringing in the temporary housing for thousands of people displaced by catastrophic flooding. Only these houses will be on blocks and strapped down, not on wheels like the travel trailers of a decade ago.

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the disaster housing plans Wednesday. But he described a “shelter at home” program as the more desirable option.

Homeowners will be able to receive grants up to $15,000 aimed at making houses habitable quickly so people can live inside while doing more extensive repairs. Registration for that program begins Monday.

Those grants can only help homeowners with less catastrophic damage. For those with more severe destruction, they’ll have access to mobile homes.