Last month's devastating floods in Louisiana caused more than $8 billion in damage, state officials have calculated. TV station KLFY News 10 has a report (see: "LED estimates August flooding caused $8.7B in damages to Louisiana"). "Louisiana Economic Development estimates the August 2016 Louisiana Flood caused $8.7 billion in damage to Louisiana residential and commercial properties, with damage to businesses in the state exceeding $2 billion. Those figures do not include damage to the state’s public infrastructure," the station reported.
"In addition to an estimated 109,000 housing units damaged, nearly 20,000 Louisiana businesses were interrupted by the flooding that began Aug. 11 and continued for days, leading to the flooding of more than 6,000 businesses in 22 affected parishes," the paper reported. "LED also surveyed 455 economic driver firms in flood-impacted regions – those employers that contribute the most output to the state’s economy – and found that 6 percent suffered significant damage while 9 percent sustained minor damage."
The work of recovery has barely begun, reported CNN (see: "Louisiana floods: The water is gone, and the work begins," by Michelle Krupa). "More than three weeks after catastrophic flooding devastated south Louisiana, killing 13 people and causing at least $8.7 billion in damages, FEMA reports more than 134,000 households have registered for aid and 115,000 housing inspections have been completed," the network reported. "But the critical work of gutting flooded structures so rebuilding can begin is still a daily slog. It continues even as state and federal officials work to launch temporary shelter programs, including the delivery of temporary mobile homes and rental vouchers. That means many people -- including the elderly and those with medical problems -- have little choice but to remain in their ruined residences. According to one local estimate, as many as 2,600 individuals or families are still living in homes that have not been gutted or treated for mold."
The state is asking Congress for help, as TV station KSLA News 12 reported (see: "Gov. Edwards seeks billions for flood recovery; FEMA criticized over trailers," by Sabrina Wilson). "Gov. John Bel Edwards went to Capitol Hill on Friday with a huge request," the station reported. "He wants Congress to approve billions in a supplemental appropriation for the state’s flood recovery." Said Edwards: "The $2 billion request for CDBG [Community Development Block Grant] funds is necessary step to rebuilding Louisiana and simply put we cannot recover without it."
But with an election looming and Congress set to recess for weeks, the clock is ticking for Louisiana, reported the New Orleans Times-Picayune (see: "Washington's decision on Louisiana Flood recovery: Timing is a concern," by Julia O'Donoghue). "Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana's congressional delegation must get President Barack Obama and Congress on board with at least some of their flood relief plan by the time the Senate takes an essential vote Wednesday (Sept. 14)," the paper reported. "Otherwise, Louisiana would likely have to wait until November for Congress to move on any flood assistance. And a November vote would delay the arrival of extra housing aid and health services to the state for several weeks."