Gov. Edwards, Rep. Graves discuss flood recovery, home elevation requirements

Gov. Edwards, Rep. Graves discuss flood recovery, home elevation requirements

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards focused on flood recovery during a press conference Wednesday morning. That included home elevation requirements, a topic that concerns many homeowners in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

Edwards referenced the national regulations set by FEMA, which says that any home in a flood zone that has suffered damage more than 50 percent of the home's value will have to elevate in order to rebuild.

"Part of this is whether individual political subdivisions, the towns, villages, maybe even parish governments waive ordinances or rescind ordinances that would require elevation in certain circumstances," Edwards said.

Edwards also said the state is not putting as much emphasis on elevation as they are trying to prevent a repeat.

"We are trying to focus as much as we can, not on elevating homes, but controlling flood waters, and so we want to do public infrastructure projects. We want to do drainage projects. We want the Corps of Engineers to complete the Comite River diversion," Edwards said.

Congressman Garrett Graves, who was also at the conference, said his main focus is funding. Congress provided a $438 million aid package in October, and Graves said he is trying to get another.

He believes keeping homeowners out of trouble should be the top priority.

"The big thing is getting us the resources we need to recover," Graves said. "This is going to end up being a federal liability one way or another. It's going to be a federal liability because people don't get in front of this and actually proactive about the recovery efforts and you have a bunch of people end up flipping their keys back to the mortgage company because their homes go through foreclosure."

Graves said he spoke with people in Washington about another aid package on Monday.

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