MONROE, La. (AP) — Upgrades to Monroe's recreation centers designed to house hurricane evacuees are not complete, but officials say the city is prepared to uphold its commitment to house them.

The News-Star reports ( renovation of the centers has been under way since last fall.

Roof repairs at the Saul Adler and Powell community centers are finished, but work at a third center, Emily P. Robinson, is still going on.

City community affairs director John Ross said checks for the presence of asbestos have slowed the process.

Although the upgrades are not complete, Ross said the city is equipped to serve as an evacuation site for residents of Terrebone, Lafourche and St. John the Baptist parishes as outlined in a cooperative endeavor agreement.

The Monroe Civic Center is identified as the evacuation site for Terrebonne Parish; Henrietta Johnson, Lillie Maddox Marbles Recreation Center and Saul Adler Community Center have been designated as the shelter sites for St. John the Baptist Parish; Harvey H. Benoit, Emily P. Robinson, and Powell Community Centers have been designated as the evacuation sites for Lafourche Parish.

The B.J. Washington Boxing and Fitness Community Center wasn't part of the agreement because there isn't enough open space there for it to serve as a shelter, Ross said.

Together, up to 5,400 residents from the southern parishes could be accommodated at Monroe community centers in the event an evacuation is ordered.


Information from: The News-Star,