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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

FRANKLINTON, La. -- The pleas from people in Washington Parish were answered Tuesday when FEMA came to town.

The agency spent the day in Franklinton assessing the damage caused by Hurricane Isaac and the overflow of the Bogue Chitto River as a result of the storm.

For days, by air or by boat were the only ways to see the havoc wreaked on the parish. But a group of FEMA, parish and Small Business Association representatives hit the ground Tuesday to get a closer look, despite some areas still holding water and most areas being covered in mud.

'If there's total loss, major damage, minor damage. They're looking for numbers. We need to find out how many people may be uninsured. Also, we look for differences between renters and homeowners,' said Bill Lehman, with FEMA.

For most families, like the Anthony's, who fought to save dozens of family photos from 3 feet of water, getting to show the federal agency what's left is a blessing.

'They come through here and we seen 'em so we tracked 'em down because right now, we're still looking for a place to live,' said Katie Anthony.

One of the more significant signs of damage are mud lines. They're on plants and they're on houses. It's something FEMA is using to consider whether this area will qualify for individial assistance from it.

But the parish says it's confident the agency will find everything it's looking for.

'I think that they realize how we had so many people, over 185 residents, that water went through their houses. There's probably a lot more than water just got in their houses,' said Washington Parish President Richard Thomas.

While this caravan of agencies seems to be just the beginning of Washington Parish's recovery, for many, it's hope that this time they won't be forgotten.

FEMA will be making the rounds throughout Tuesday night and possibly into Wednesday. The agency also continued a walk through in Tangipahoa Parish. Leaders in both places are hoping to be added to the assistance list by the end of the week.

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