More than 600 still without power in New Orleans East one week after tornado

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - It's been one week since the tornado tore through New Orleans East, and even now, more than 600 people are without power.

According to the Red Cross, the Joe Brown Recreational Center was a temporary home fore more than 500 people whose homes were damaged by the EF3 twister. As of Monday night, there were 39 people still there, and Wednesday morning the shelter will close.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Tuesday that the 5,000-plus homes damaged in the storm have to be repaired before life can get back to normal, and the city is offering some financial help to speed that process along.

The city will waive building permit fees for reconstruction of homes that were damaged in the tornado.

"You still need a permit, but it will be free," Landrieu said. "There's nothing that's come our way that we can't handle, and it has been without fail in our times of trouble there have always been angels among us."

Landrieu also said that anyone who lives in the path of the tornado will be eligible for disaster food stamps. FEMA representatives will be set up at the New Orleans East Library to help tornado victims with their FEMA applications.

The city hopes to have all tornado debris removed within 30 days.