FEMA: Don’t pay company demanding pay for Blue Roof tarps

Louisiana

Ernest Jack moves near his home that was hit by Hurricane Laura ahead of Hurricane Delta, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, in Lake Charles, La. Forecasters said Delta — the 25th named storm of an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season — would likely crash ashore Friday evening somewhere on southwest Louisiana’s coast. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency is letting homeowners know that its Operation Blue Roof is free, and they should let authorities know if any company tries to make them pay.

The program installs tarps on damaged roofs to waterproof them until repairs can be made after a hurricane.

“The Blue Roof program is free. A subcontractor cannot demand payment or file a lien against a property of a survivor who received a blue tarp,” said a news release sent Monday.

Homeowners in southwest Louisiana have reported that a Lake Charles-area subcontractor has sent a letter threatening to put a lien on their homes if they don’t pay for having tarps put on their roofs under the FEMA program after Hurricanes Laura and Delta, agency spokesman Manuel Broussard said Monday.

He said the Army Corps of Engineers in Memphis, which is running the program for FEMA in southwest Louisiana, has sent the company a letter ordering it to stop.

Any homeowner who gets a letter requesting payment for the FEMA blue roof program can forward it to roe-callcenter@usace.army.mil, a FEMA news release said.

The program is for homes with less than 50% structural damages. Homeowners in Allen, Beauregard, Vernon, Jefferson Davis, Calcasieu and Cameron parishes had to sign up by Oct. 24.

As of Wednesday, 7,778 roofs had tarps installed because of damage from Hurricane Laura, and 5,199 after Hurricane Delta. FEMA spokeswoman Melissa Wilkins said she didn’t know how many of the tarps installed after Hurricane Delta replaced ones installed after the earlier storm.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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