There is a dire need for additional federal appropriation of supplemental disaster relief funding for Southwest Louisiana.
In 2020 and 2021, this region of the state was impacted by five federally declared disasters: COVID – 19, Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, Winter Storm Uri and massive flooding in May 2021. No other community in the United States has gone through such a string of disasters.
Homes and businesses throughout the community remain in various states of devastation, some still untouched since August 27, 2020, when Hurricane Laura’s 150-mile-per-hour winds cut a path of destruction through the region. Hurricane Laura was the fifth strongest hurricane to hit mainland United States in modern history; the strongest to hit the State of Louisiana in 150 years.
The devastation to the region impacted every facet of life in Southwest Louisiana - homes, schools, businesses, hospitals, electrical grid, water supply and more. More than 1.5 million evacuated ahead of the storm and thousands are still displaced because their homes remain in disrepair. Businesses can’t fully recover when workers aren’t able to return to their community.
It is unacceptable that American citizens still await much-needed assistance more than a year and a half post-disaster. In the past, this type of supplemental relief has been awarded in a much shorter timeframe.
The video below was created nearly one year after Hurricane Laura made landfall. Although some recovery progress has been made since then, much more is needed in order to restore the previously booming economy of the region. Governor Edwards originally requested $3 billion in supplemental disaster funding for Southwest Louisiana. And while we are appreciative of the $598 million that has been allocated, that amount, which is less than 20% of what was requested, is not enough to help our region fully recover.
Disaster Aid Press Conference - 07.27.2021:
Every day that goes by without the much-needed additional recovery funding is a day that Washington DC continues to fail the people of Southwest Louisiana. Let Congress and the White House know.