(WAFB) - On Thursday, April 5, Governor John Bel Edwards and Representative Garret Graves announced the federal government has allocated another $1.213 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding for hazard mitigation projects in parishes affected by the historic flooding of August 2016.
"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 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 federally recovery dollars in Louisiana 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 dollars will be used as part of an overall solution for Comite – a solution that will include US Army Corps of Engineers money – 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.
Edwards and Graves say the money can be used to clear debris in bayous, ditches, and other drainage areas in East Baton Rouge, Livingston, Ascension, and other parishes. They also say they will continue to work with HUD to make the money available as soon as possible.