ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - When the floodwaters receded, not even those laid to rest were left untouched. The flooding disinterred graves and many cemeteries throughout the area, leaving some families to rebury their loved ones as they rebuilt their homes.
In Ascension Parish, officials reported more than 50 disturbed graves among seven cemeteries. Meredith Conger, a spokesperson with the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said repairs are already underway for two cemeteries, but the parish is continuing repair work.
"I visited every cemetery and documented in depth all the disruptions," Conger said.
Parish officials have been working with the Attorney General's Office, which oversees cemeteries, to document any disinterred graves and to locate the next of kin. Conger said that has involved searching through obituaries and asking families to come forward to help identify caskets.
Meanwhile, Conger said a local funeral director is safely storing caskets.
The parish has hosted two meetings for affected families to discuss reinternment. The families can apply for individual assistance through FEMA which can be used to cover the reburial costs.
"Once they receive that individual assistance for FEMA they will turn that over to Ascension Parish government to complete that work in the cemeteries," Conger said.
Conger is confident they will have every disturbed grave claimed soon and hope to start work returning loved ones to their final resting place by next week.
Any families who still need help with reinternment can contact the Attorney General's Office or their local parish officials.