Graves, Mayors Unite to Tell Louisiana’s Story in Congress
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) welcomes Louisiana Mayors Jr. Shelton, Rick Ramsey and Gerard Landry to his office in Washington, DC today as the four men prepare to testify tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives at a hearing focused on FEMA’s response to the recent flooding that ravaged South Louisiana. The Subcommittee on Transportation and Public Assets, which has oversight of FEMA, scheduled the hearing after its chairman, Rep. John Mica (R-FL), joined Graves to survey the damage in the Capital Region last week; the hearing is entitled, “Oversight of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Response to the Baton Rouge Flood Disaster.”
"The resiliency of our community is amazing. No one sat around waiting on the federal government to make progress – in fact, Congressman Mica probably thinks we have a Cajun cadre for everything,” said Graves. “But now the real work has begun, and we’re hearing story after story of how FEMA is failing to show the kind of adaptability and common sense we need to jump start this recovery. These mayors represent some of the hardest hit communities. Bringing local voices to these stories is invaluable as we continue to paint the picture for these people in Washington.”
More than 139,000 Louisianans have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance so far, with an estimated 150,000 homes damaged or flooded. The historic, 1,000-year flood is projected to be the fourth costliest flood disaster in US history.
“We are concerned about the future of our city,” said Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry. “I want to be assured that we will remain whole as a community.”
“What happened in Central could happen to any city in America,” said City of Central Mayor Jr. Shelton. “We are sharing our story so other municipalities can learn from our experience and avoid this heartache.”
“It's crucial our elected leaders are made aware of the magnitude of the flooding and the obstacles we face in rebuilding. Hopefully we will be received with an open mind that will result in positive changes for the present and near future,” added Walker Mayor Rick Ramsey.
State Senator Bodi White will also be in Washington, DC as Graves’ office is coordinating meetings with FEMA, the US Department of Transportation and other federal agencies for the local officials.
The hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EST on Friday, September 9, 2016 in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. It will also be available via live stream at https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/oversight-federal-emergency-management-agencys-response-baton-rouge-flood-disaster/