FEMA

Denham Springs saw some of the worst damage in the August 2016 flood. As the rebuilding continues, the city is developing a long-term recovery plan — one designed by the people who live there. Denham Strong, the city's recovery planning group, gives residents an opportunity to advocate for what they want Denham Springs to look like years from now.

Since last August, the popularity of flood insurance has again surged in Louisiana, but the future of the debt-laden National Flood Insurance Program is uncertain. Since 2005, the program has racked up $24.6 billion in liability to the U.S. Treasury, mostly due to claims after Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016. That’s just one way that Louisiana’s past is influencing the federal program’s future.

FEMA announced today that, at the request of the state, some flooded homeowners still living in a FEMA manufactured housing unit will have the option to purchase it. Wallis Watkins reports.

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“Prior to and throughout the response to the 2016 floods, FEMA was a very good partner. But the transition from response to recovery is where challenges arose,” Governor John Bel Edwards told the U.S. House Oversight Committee on Flood Recovery and Governmental Affairs. He testified Wednesday in response to complaints about the pace of the recovery from August’s devastating floods across south Louisiana.


As Louisiana recovers from the floods last August, it does so without Craig Fugate. The longtime chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency stepped down - as planned - at the end of the Obama Administration. The Trump Administration hasn't yet chosen Fugate's successor – but it has begun establishing new budget priorities that could matter to Louisiana. 

It’s been nearly six months since the historic flooding in southeast Louisiana. Since then, Congress has authorized $1.6 billion for the state to help people repair homes and businesses. But that’s well short of the estimated $8 billion in damage done. Wallis Watkins spoke with some flood survivors trying to navigate the recovery process.

Business Recovery In Baton Rouge After The Floods

Feb 6, 2017

Most of Louisiana’s $1.6 billion dollars in federal flood recovery money has been dedicated to homeowners. But thousands of businesses also need financial help if they’re going to recover. According to the National Flood Insurance Program 40-percent of flooded business never reopen. Karen Henderson from WRKF looks at how Baton Rouge area businesses are recovering, nearly six months after the devastating flood.

Thousands of Louisiana flood victims are still living in hotels as part of FEMAs Temporary Shelter Assistance program.

On the list of FEMA relief options, the hotel vouchers are meant as a short-term solution -- but four months later, it's still the only option for many people who can't return home.

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More than 135-thousand south Louisiana households have applied for FEMA assistance thus far. But many of those who’ve received their awards already are – shall we say? – disappointed.

“When FEMA first come in and announced $33-thousand, that’s what people heard.,” state Senator Bodi White complained. “It’s that one line soundbite, and everything else, they don’t hear that. And, you know, it’s not true.”

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Governor John Bel Edwards meets with the entire Louisiana congressional delegation today, discussing the need for a supplemental federal appropriations bill for flood recovery.

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