It’s estimated it will take at least one year to recover from the historic floods. That’s according to LSU Economist Jim Richardson who says Livingston Parish, which was the hardest hit, will need a while to get back to some kind of normalcy.
He expects big national businesses should be back on their feet quickly, but it may take smaller businesses longer.
“You have other smaller stores that will have to work a little bit harder maybe, will not have that same ability to just draw on extra funds. They’ll have to look at different ways, could be some federal money, small business loans.”
Richardson says in the short-term, this event could boost the economy with flood victims purchasing new furniture, flooring, and sheet-rock. He says the biggest issue is housing for those who lost their homes, which cannot be solved overnight.
“The most pain and the most suffering, and people wondering what do I do? Apartments will be taken up really quickly probably, some people may be able to rent a home depending on their own resource availability.”
Richardson says many victims of the flooding did not have flood insurance, which will force some to go into debt to restore their home.
“They’re going to have to refinance their house. If it were paid for, to go back and essentially borrow money on it again. What it’s going to do is put people into a situation that they don’t expect to be in.”