Vinton cleanup

Cleanup of debris from Hurricane Laura continues in Vinton as piles of trees and limbs are gathered by a bulldozer.

VINTON – The Town of Vinton has its water and sewer operations back up to full capacity after Hurricane Laura blew through two weeks ago.

The town is still under a water boil advisory, however.

Mayor Kenneth Stinson said contracted debris crews have been working steadily and, so far, have picked up more than 30,000 cubic yards of vegetation. “We’re probably going to have that much in construction debris and that much in vegetation again before it’s all over with,” he said, at a meeting of the Vinton Council this week.

The majority of the town’s municipal buildings came through the storm mostly intact. A sewer lift station building was destroyed, the fire department lost a storage shed for trucks, the public works shop lost its doors and the police station lost its roof.

Town Hall sustained only minor damage.

There is damage at Vinton Elementary, Middle School and Vinton High School. There was a lot of damage done to electrical transmission lines. Entergy has a line that runs through town and the mayor said he hopes to be able to hook as many homes as possible into that line.

Public Works Director Terry Vice estimates that as many as 20 to 25 percent of the town’s homes were damaged in what was the most powerful storm to hit Louisiana in over 100 years.

The Louisiana National Guard is running a distribution point at Vinton Elementary from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day. They can provide food, water, ice and tarps.

“We have had an outpouring of volunteers,” said Stinson. He noted that one of the cast members from the A&E television show Swamp People was on the scene twice since the storm, passing out food with the Southern Boys.

Stinson reminded residents that there is a burn ban in effect in Calcasieu Parish. He asked that all material from clean-up be stacked near roadways and separated into vegetation, construction, appliances/white goods, and electronics and hazardous house waste piles.

Residents are asked not to block the road or put debris in drainage ditches. Contractors have equipment capable of reaching debris across ditches.