GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - As many communities in Ascension Parish begin a long road to recovery following last week's historic floods, residents Wednesday night were eager to gain information at a public meeting held at the Ascension Public Library in Gonzales.
"It's always important to have that communication link between our public officials and the residents to be able to ask questions," said Clint Cointment.
The meeting was scheduled prior to last week's flooding but drainage, flood zone and emergency preparedness officials were all on hand encouraging residents to learn from the ordeal. Sherrie Jenkins said the biggest lesson is to get flood insurance.
"If you own a business or a home, you should have flood insurance no matter what because of the impact it could make on you," Jenkins said.
Meredith Conger with the Ascension Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said the floodwaters came so quickly, which is why being prepared is key.
"Especially here in Ascension Parish and Louisiana they pop up so quickly. We're almost always under a flash flood watch with any significant rain event so it is really important to talk to you family, get a plan and determine what you're going to do should disaster strike," Conger added.
Conger said another takeaway from the strong storm surge is many people's homes flooded who have never dealt with it before. That is why she said residents should regularly ask questions about their property.
"It's important to talk to your parish government departments," she added. "Everyone is so willing to help you and discuss your property with you to make sure you know what areas you have that could potentially put you at risk for a flood."
The Ascension Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is still collecting damage reports. If you live in the parish and your home was flooded, you can email them at email@example.com or call (225) 621-8360.