More Flood Recovery Resources on the Way for Louisiana
Washington, DC - Congressman Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) made the following statement about the $4.1 billion for Louisiana flood and other disaster recovery efforts that is part of a federal government funding bill expected to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday and in the Senate on Friday:
“It is clear that the government’s recovery efforts to date are wholly insufficient to allow for a full recovery. Thousands and thousands of flood victims are facing impossible financial decisions in the aftermath of this 1000-year flood, but this funding, combined with the $438 million provided in September will help flood victims get back on their feet,” said Graves. “This money needs to get to flood victims quickly - we cannot allow the slow, bureaucratic processes that have defined the federal response so far continue to re-victimize people.”
Graves has been critical of how funding has been disbursed and has worked closely with state and federal officials to reduce administrative and programmatic costs.
“These funds must instead be used to provide badly-needed assistance to flood victims – not fund excessive bureaucracy, administrative costs or environmental assessments. These resources must also be used to help provide assistance to all of those in need – not discriminate based upon income, race, neighborhood or other irrelevant criteria.
It’s important to remember that the flood waters did not impact people along lines of race, ethnicity or socioeconomics – it inundated all its victims. We have to ensure recovery investments are made objectively, with the full scope of needs in view. We’re looking forward to working with the incoming Trump Administration to ensure that these funds are used in a manner that lifts our entire community of flooded homes and businesses.”
The bill provides funding to respond to damages in Louisiana and several other States caused by recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Matthew, floods, drought, and other severe weather events. Funding is divided in the following way.
Department of Agriculture Programs (AG) – $103.1 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program and $103 million for the Emergency Conservation Program.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Facilities (CJS) – $74.7 million for construction and restoration costs to repair hurricane damaged facilities.
Corps of Engineers Construction (EW) – $54.8 million for Construction.
Corps of Engineers Mississippi River and Tributaries (EW) – $290.7 million for Mississippi River and Tributaries.
Corps of Engineers Operation and Maintenance (EW) – $259.6 million for Operation and Maintenance.
Corps of Engineers Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (EW) – $419.9 million for Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies.
Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Program (THUD) – $1,004 million for the Emergency Relief Program.
Community Development Block Grant Program (THUD) – $1,809 million for the Community Development Block Grant Program.