More people may have been affected by the Great Flood of 2016 than we thought, according to a recent LSU survey. Dr. Michael Henderson with the LSU Public Policy Research Lab says 18 percent of residents took on water during the March and August floods. He says 30 percent of workers were also impacted.
“We found that statewide about one in five people lost income as a result of flooding, and in the Baton Rouge area it’s more like one in three,” Henderson said.
Henderson says 14 percent of respondents say they housed a flood victim during the aftermath of the storms. He says while the impact could be felt in almost all corners of the state, some areas were more affected by the rising waters.
“You look in areas like Baton Rouge, that’s where you get the biggest. In parts of north Louisiana, there’s been significant impact, and then in parts of the Acadiana area as well,” Henderson said.
The survey also finds the share of low income residents affected by the flood was nearly twice the rate of higher income households who were impacted. Henderson says respondents did not give favorable ratings to FEMA or the state government for their response to the floods.
“We asked people to rate from 0 to 100 how good was the job. So in the Baton Rouge area the average rating was a 54. So that’s not a super rating, and then FEMA got a 41 so a little worse. Statewide, the gap was about the same,” Henderson said.