On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, Lake Charles city officials say they received word of hurricane relief funding.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the $1.3 billion package with an expected $450 million earmarked for Hurricane Laura long-term recovery.
“Today is a great day for Lake Charles,” said Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter. “To all of the residents in my community who are still struggling, I’m sorry it took this long. I'm sorry you've had to traverse a longer and rockier road than you should have, but help is on the way.”
Working in conjunction with state officials, City officials will seek to compliment programs established by the State of Louisiana to maximize the impact and spread of these dollars.
“There is no scenario where Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana do not recover from the difficult last couple years. We now have sufficient support from our federal government in order to expedite that recovery, though it took far too long,” Mayor Hunter added. “Finally, we have achieved an equitable response from the federal government related to a historic string of natural disasters, more in a 12-month span than any other City in American history.”
Mayor Hunter extends his thanks to a number of state and federal officials, for their commitment to helping secure this much needed, long sought after funding, including Governor Edwards, President Biden, the Louisiana Congressional Delegation and the administrations at HUD and FEMA.
Here's what Gov. John Bel Edwards sent out about the money:
Gov. John Bel Edwards joined U.S. Housing and Urban Development Sec. Marcia Fudge today to announce that Louisiana will receive an additional allocation of $450 million for recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta and $1.27 billion for Hurricane Ida as part of the Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
When added to HUD’s first allocation of $600 million last year for Hurricanes Laura and Delta, this raises to more than $1 billion the total amount of Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery money available for recovery from these storms.
“I contacted Sec. Fudge to personally thank her for this significant allocation that should provide Louisiana with an opportunity to implement a more effective, albeit late, recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta,” Gov. Edwards said. “I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for their commitment to helping our communities and those around the nation recover from the impacts of these devastating storms. In addition, Louisiana will receive $1.27 billion for recovery from Hurricane Ida and other 2021 disasters. However, the need is much greater, which everyone we have spoken with in Washington acknowledges. We will continue working to secure that additional funding.”
The funds are part of a $5 billion supplemental disaster appropriation Congress enacted in September 2021 that includes money for all disasters across the country in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, five named storms made landfall in Louisiana, breaking the state’s record for the most strikes in a single season.
This comes on the heels of an announcement by Vice President Kamala Harris and Congressman Troy Carter that through the new Flood Mitigation Swift Current Grant Initiative made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $60 million will be allocated to Louisiana and three other states impacted by Hurricane Ida. Louisiana will receive the majority of that allocation, $40 million to help survivors. The objective is to expedite flood mitigation grants to residents with either substantially damaged structures or repetitively flooded properties insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The remaining funds will be divided among the three other states including Mississippi ($5 million), New Jersey ($10 million), and Pennsylvania ($5 million).
This will be the first Federal Emergency Management Agency initiative to be funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to strengthen national preparedness and resilience.