Flood Recovery

There was a lot of talk of what it would cost to make people WHOLE again after last summer’s devastating floods. And while bureaucrats have searched for a way to quantify a complete recovery for Louisiana residents, Jesse Hardman reports on how many flood affected families are simply going about finding their own ways forward.

Even before the March and August floods hit Louisiana, the state faced a shortage of affordable rental housing. That shortage grew as homes flooded and became uninhabitable. On Tuesday, Governor John Bel Edwards announced an initiative to help fill that need. Wallis Watkins reports.

In September 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded East Baton Rouge Parish an $11 million grant to assist with flood recovery. Thursday night, Mayor Sharon West Broome's office proposed a new plan on how to spend it. Wallis Watkins reports.

Senator Bill Cassidy held the first of five Louisiana town hall meetings Tuesday night in Livingston Parish. As WWNO’s Jessica Rosgaard reports, the audience of about 300 people asked questions about flood recovery and the policies of the Trump administration.

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.

Governor John Bel Edwards is traveling to Washington, D.C. - his sixth trip since the August flooding in Louisiana. He’ll be meeting with lawmakers to request an additional $2 billion in flood relief.

So far, Congress has approved two installments of funding for the state at a total of $1.6 billion. But Governor Edwards says that is still short of what’s needed.

Last week, the Governor sent letters to both the Louisiana Congressional Delegation and President Trump describing the unmet needs of homeowners, renters and businesses.

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.

The Restore Louisiana Task Force has scheduled public meetings in four parishes affected by the 2016 floods.

Residents will have an opportunity to review and comment on the Task Force proposal for most recent $1.2 billion dollars in recovery funds from the federal government. 

The meetings will be live-streamed on the Task Force website for residents unable to attend -- and the full text of the proposal is available here.

Wallis Watkins / WWNO

Over a third of the public schools in Livingston Parish were damaged by the flooding in Southeast Louisiana last August. While some of those schools have been repaired, others still haven't been able to reopen - like Southside Junior High School, where classes began this new year at a new site - for now.