BATON ROUGE - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves announced that the federal government will allocate an additional $1.213 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for hazard mitigation projects in parishes that were impacted by the 2016 floods.
“This new investment from HUD is critically important to our rebuilding efforts. It will allow us to make investments in flood risk reduction and infrastructure projects in areas of our state that were devastated by the 2016 floods, including partnering with the Army Corps of Engineers to make investments in large-scale projects such as the Comite River Diversion Canal. Once we have the full details from the federal government regarding how these funds can be spent, we will work with stakeholders and local governments to determine what projects to fund and outline our plan to HUD. I appreciate the congressional delegation’s continued efforts on our flood recovery, and I am confident these resources will be used to strengthen our communities against future disasters,” said Governor Edwards.
“This is one of the largest flood protection, mitigation and resiliency disaster appropriations made to the state of Louisiana in history and brings the sum of federal recovery dollars for Louisiana’s 2016 floods to more than 10 billion, enabling us to advance critical projects that have been stagnant for far too long - projects like Comite, West Shore, Upper Barataria Risk Reduction and Morganza to the Gulf. These resources will be used as part of an overall solution for Comite - a solution that will include Army Corps of Engineers funding - but will also give Louisiana flexibility to directly take the lead on implementing and completing projects instead of being held hostage by the bureaucracy of the Corps,” said Graves. “Additionally, this funding can be used to clear the debris in bayous, ditches and other drainage waterways in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension and other vulnerable areas to further protect families and businesses. It’s time to stop expecting people to just rebuild every time there’s a flood and raise their insurance rates - we have to make our communities stronger."
This tranche of federal dollars was appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which became law on February 9, 2018.
Graves added, “We’re going to continue working with HUD and are urging them to move as quickly as possible to make this money available so that the state can begin using it to deliver better flood protection to the people of South Louisiana. We are also working with the Corps to expedite their prioritization of critical projects like Comite and West Shore.”