Governor John Bel Edwards tells the Restore Louisiana Task Force they have the important job of helping flood victims get back on their feet. The task force, which was appointed by the governor, is in charge of determining how federal flood recovery dollars will be spent. The state could receive billions of dollars and Edwards says it must be used appropriately.
“The bottom line is we’ve got to help families displaced by the flood to make the viable decision as soon as possible to return home,” Edwards said.
President Barack Obama has asked Congress to approve $2.6 billion for Louisiana’s flood recovery. Edwards says early estimates show there was $8.7 billion in damage from the August flood, and that doesn’t include public infrastructure. He says another 29,000 homes were damaged in the March flood. He says the task force has to do something to help these people.
“We’re not just moving people home, but we’re going to move people home and do it in such a way that they are less likely in the future to flood,” Edwards said.
There’s legislation up for debate in the Senate that would provide $500 million in federal flood aid for multiple states. Edwards says it is likely Louisiana will receive the bulk of Community Development Block Grant Funding in the lame duck session after the November election.
“I don’t want you all to focus so much on what’s going on with Congress. I want you to focus on what we’re going to do for the people of Louisiana, and the Congressional delegation is going to make sure that we get the assistance that we need,” Edwards said.