Governor John Bel Edwards and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves announced Thursday that the federal government has allocated an additional $1.213 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for hazard mitigation projects in parishes that were impacted by the 2016 floods.
“This new investment from HUD is critically important to our rebuilding efforts. It will allow us to make investments in flood risk reduction and infrastructure projects in areas of our state that were devastated by the 2016 floods, including partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers to make investments in large-scale projects such as the Comite River Diversion Canal," Edwards said of the funds.
The governor says that the federal government must still provide details on how these funds can be spent. The state government will be working with local officials to determine what projects will be funded. Those project must be sent to HUD before being approved.
"I appreciate the congressional delegation’s continued efforts on our flood recovery, and I am confident these resources will be used to strengthen our communities against future disasters," the governor added.
"This is one of the largest flood protection, mitigation and resiliency disaster appropriations made to the state of Louisiana in history and brings the sum of federally recovery dollars in Louisiana to more than 10 billion dollars, enabling us to advance critical projects that have been stagnant for far too long – projects like Comite, West Shore, Upper Barataria Risk Reduction and Morganza to the Gulf," said Rep. Graves.
According to a release, this funding may be used to clear the debris in bayous, ditches and other drainage waterways in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension and other vulnerable areas to further protect families and businesses.
Both Edwards and Graves say they are going to continue working with HUD to have them make the money available so that the state can begin using it to deliver flood protection to South Louisiana.