Hurricane Katrina and Rita Clean-Up by Local Government

WHEREAS, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the state of Louisiana causing severe flooding and damage to the southern part of the state, which has threatened the safety, health, and security of the citizens of the state of Louisiana, along with private property and public facilities;

WHEREAS, several areas of the state of Louisiana need all available assistance to clean-up debris left by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita;

WHEREAS, many parish and local elected officials are requesting the issuance of an executive order to allow employees of the parish or local governments to assist with debris removal;

NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1: Regular employees of local and municipal governments in South Louisiana who may be available to assist in removing debris left by Hurricanes Katrina and/or Rita shall have authority, at the discretion of the parish or municipal chief elected official, to perform work on private property to expedite the clean-up efforts. However, any work performed by public employees on private property shall be in accordance with Attorney General Opinion Nos. 05-0360, 05-0360A, and 05-0373.

SECTION 2: Prior to the performance of any work on private property as contemplated by this Order, an agreement shall be executed by the owner of the land upon which such work is to be performed whereby the landowner shall agree to hold the state of Louisiana and the local government or municipality harmless from any and all claims for damage which may in any way arise from such work performed on the private property.

SECTION 3: As to any work performed on abandoned property, the parish or local officials shall make a special effort to identify and document any and all damages which have occurred to the abandoned property prior to the clean-up or removal of debris.

SECTION 4: Any local government or municipality seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for work performed as authorized by Section 1 of this Order shall comply with appropriate federal statutes and regulations.

SECTION 5: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until December 1, 2005, unless amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 24th day of October, 2005.

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco

Al Ater
Secretary of State