As Louisiana is approaching the one year anniversary of the historic flooding, Congressman Garret Graves is concerned with the slow pace of funding getting into the hands of flood victims. Graves says only 1% of the two billion additional dollars allocated by the federal government has been dispersed to flooded homeowners. He says it’s very difficult to quantify the remaining unmet needs when so much money is in the bank.
“Data doesn’t lie and it’s difficult to justify or to substantiate those kinds of timelines. I think that some bad decisions were made.”
Graves says we need to provide better recovery investments, like putting money into watershed projects, like the Comite Diversion Canal. He says elevating buildings after a flood is only somewhat beneficial.
“Keep in mind, if your home or business is elevated and if it floods, you still can’t go anywhere because everything in between you is flooded. It does paralyze our economy, it paralyzes our community.”
Congress will soon renew the National Flood Insurance Program and Graves hopes to make significant improvements. Graves says the Army Corp of Engineers is not moving fast enough when it comes to flood mitigation projects. He says it’s time to reform that agency.
“Making sure that the regulatory process, the permitting process, is efficient. That we can spend dollars turning dirt, not turning pages through thousands of pages of reports and studies that don’t bring value to the process.”