Gov. Edwards: Louisiana Needs Additional Federal Aid

Gov. John Bel Edwards has requested additional federal funding from the White House to address Louisiana’s $3 billion in unmet hurricane recovery needs in Louisiana communities affected by hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta last year.

“As in previous times of difficulty, Louisianans have once again risen to meet the challenges of rebuilding by helping their friends, neighbors and even total strangers begin the process of starting anew,” Gov. Edwards wrote. “While we do not doubt the ability of our citizens to recover, we need the help of the federal government to make that recovery complete.”

Hurricane Laura struck southwest Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on August 27, 2020 and it was followed by Hurricane Delta, a Category 2 storm, on October 9, 2020. On October 28, 2020, Hurricane Zeta struck the southeast portion of the state.

Additional federal funding sources, on top of FEMA funding for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation, should include Community Development Block Grants, Social Services Block Grants and Emergency Solutions Grants program funding, in addition to further dollars from the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. The Governor also seeks a reduction in the cost-share required by state and local government affected by these storms.

Louisiana has unmet needs totaling $3 billion for hurricanes Laura and Delta alone. These include $396.3 million in homeowner needs, $481.7 million in renter needs, $130 million in non-federal FEMA Public Assistance cost share, $50 million in non-federal FEMA Hazard Mitigation cost share, $25 million in transportation damages, $576.4 million in estimated crop losses and $1.397 billion in estimated timber losses.