- Vitter Announces Federal Disaster Assistance for Louisiana Flood Recovery
- October 3, 2016
- Law Firm: Taylor Porter Brooks Phillips L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) today announced that the short-term continuing resolution will include federal disaster assistance for Louisiana flood recovery, following the deadly, historic flooding disaster in South Louisiana last month. The Senate is expected to consider this language in the next few days.
“As the 4th costliest natural disaster in the last 12 years, the economic impact of the flooding disaster in South Louisiana is already tremendous. While this is a good start, Louisiana needs much more assistance and federal aid to start the rebuilding process,” said Vitter. “Hundreds of thousands of flood victims still face substantial rebuilding challenges, and I’m already looking ahead to secure additional federal assistance in the upcoming Omnibus so that all impacted Louisiana families, homeowners, and small businesses will get the help they need.”
The continuing resolution that the Senate will consider in the coming days includes $500 million that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will distribute to states with disasters in 2016. Louisiana is expected to receive a major portion of those funds via the Community Development Block Grant Program, and the state is expected to use that funding for housing recovery efforts and other unmet recovery needs.
Vitter recently held a call with HUD Secretary Julian Castro to ensure Louisiana will receive an appropriate share of the funds. Additionally, Vitter is working to ensure Louisiana gets additional disaster recovery relief in the upcoming Omnibus.
Following Vitter and the Louisiana Congressional delegation’s letter to President Obama, the Obama Administration formally requested $2.6 billion for Louisiana disaster aid. As the only state to receive an official request for federal disaster assistance, Louisiana is expected to receive a major portion of the CDBG funds coming out of the short-term funding bill.
On August 25, Vitter hosted HUD Secretary Castro and Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to tour the flood-impacted areas in Livingston, Ascension, and East Baton Rouge parishes. During the visit, Vitter urged SBA and HUD to provide additional recovery resources, including opening more recovery centers for businesses, families, and individuals.
On September 15th, as Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Vitter held a hearing with SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet and Louisiana flood victims to discuss the federal response to last month’s historic, devastating flood disaster in South Louisiana. Click here to read more.
The flooding in South Louisiana this August is considered to be one of the worst U.S. natural disasters in history and the most significant natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. Thirteen individuals were killed in the flooding disaster, and nearly 126,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, a majority of which were outside of designated flood zones and therefore, not required to have flood insurance.
Compared to the October 2015 flooding in South Carolina, in which 26,000 FEMA claims were filed, or to Hurricane Ike in 2008, which saw 121,000 FEMA claims - the FEMA claims filed due to the Louisiana flooding in August have already exceeded 146,000.