Louisiana Flooding Report: Stay Up-To-Date
LOUISIANA — AUGUST 25, 2016 — President Barack Obama toured flood-ravaged Baton Rouge Tuesday to survey the wreckage and speak to those in the region, according to a CNN article.
In the article, Obama says he is “heartbroken” after seeing the damage and how much thousands of people’s lives have been upended.
The president has been criticized for visiting the state too late after not ending his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard immediately after the flood. However, the editorial board of “The Advocate,” the city’s newspaper, wrote that they were happy for the visit and hope it will advance relief and recovery as a national priority.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that $120 million in aid has already been approved and is starting to be paid out to flood-impacted residents.
Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, visited the region last week, and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton said on Monday that she plans to visit the flood site at an unspecified time in the future.
LOUISIANA — AUGUST 22, 2016 — It’s been 11 days since a catastrophic flood hit southeastern Louisiana, resulting in 13 lives lost, tens of thousands of devastated residents and thousands of homes destroyed when almost three feet of rain fell in two days.
According to ABC News, 60,700 homes have been reported damaged or destroyed, and 102,000 people have registered for federal assistance.
The flooding has been called “unprecedented” and “historic” by Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, and the situation was declared an emergency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been called in to provide resources and funding to help with recovery efforts. President Barack Obama is expected to travel to Louisiana today.
James Richardson, an LSU economist is predicting that it will take a year for these areas in Louisiana to come back from the flooding. However, Retired Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, who coordinated military response in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, says full recovery could take eight to 10 years.
Honoré said Richardson’s projections don’t take into account the 40 percent failure rate small businesses typically have after going through a natural disaster. Around 7,300 small businesses have suffered flood damage, according to information from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.
Experts are suggesting that the return of infrastructure will determine how quickly communities are able to rebound. Richardson expects a short-term economic boost from the recovery as homeowners replace appliances, furniture and vehicles. He adds that most flood victims do not have flood insurance, meaning they will have to use private resources and loans to restore or rebuild homes and businesses.
Cleaning and restoration professionals in the industry have a unique service to provide that will be much needed as this recovery takes place and should stay up to date on all of the developments in the area.