Governor Edwards travels to Washington to appeal for more federal assistance to the victims of the La storm.

WASHINGTON DC – Governor John Bel Edwards visited DC on Monday to meet with the Louisiana Congressional delegation about federal funds for storm victims in Louisiana.

In a tweet, Governor Edwards said the purpose of the meeting was to impress “the urgent need for federal assistance for the people of southwestern and southeastern Louisiana.”

He clarified this in his next post, citing the February frost, May flooding, and hurricanes Laura, Ida, Delta and Zeta as reasons why Louisiana families need urgent help.

Read Edwards’ full statement below:

“Earlier this year, parts of our state suffered from a devastating frost with spring flooding shortly after, and more recently Hurricane Ida devastated parishes in the southeast. In the midst of these natural disasters, Louisiana has fought a pandemic that has sickened and killed thousands of our citizens and hampered economic growth. As you know, there is an urgent need to provide immediate assistance to our families, businesses and individuals in Louisiana who have been affected, and assistance from the federal government is absolutely essential.

Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, 16 years after Hurricane Katrina, as a severe Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph near landing. Hurricane Ida caused blackouts power in the affected area with more than a million blackouts as well as water failures affecting more than a million citizens. Twenty-nine deaths have been associated with the storm and nearly 1,000 people remain in shelters at this time and thousands more are living in very difficult conditions.Currently, there are over 9,000 households in the FEMA Temporary Shelter Assistance Program sheltering over 26,000 households.

“While no two disasters are the same, it is fairly certain that the unmet housing need for Ida will exceed $ 2.5 billion based on historical damage from similar events. The current estimate of public assistance for this disaster is $ 2.2 billion, which will require state and local governments to pay $ 226 million just to cover the non-federal portion of these grants, a cost that has been covered in the past with CDBG-DR.

“Using FEMA data for individual assistance for Laura / Delta / Zeta, and taking into account insurance and other available funding sources, we estimate the unmet housing needs of tenants and landlords to be over $ 900 million. In addition, the burden on state and local governments to pay the FEMA public assistance grant matching for these storms will be more than $ 130 million. There is also an estimated loss for businesses of $ 2 billion, as well as crop and timber losses of over $ 2 billion.

Governor Edwards calls for both funding and legislation, including:

-Extension of the Direct Repair Authority within the framework of Individual Assistance

-Reset FEMA’s authority to provide funding to states to implement housing programs

-Flexibility in the match for public aid

-Extension of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act Duplication of the flexibility of services

-Extension of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act Relief from excessive reductions based on flood insurance for Campus

-Authorization for the HUD to waive the current federal site-specific environmental review requirement for the rehabilitation of a single-family home

Governor Edwards plans to return home to Louisiana on Thursday.

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