BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - On Wednesday, Aug. 14, Governor John Bel Edwards announced $14.2 million in federal funding has been made available for flood-related projects as part of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
The money was initially allocated in 2017, but now, the projects are being approved by the federal government so they can get underway, the governor’s office says. To date, 74 projects have been approved. Within the last 30 days, four additional projects were fully funded.
“These projects are crucial to providing increased protection to our citizens during severe weather,” said Edwards. “I first announced that funding had been allocated for the projects in 2017, and now we are starting to see a wave of approval for them to begin. It has been tremendous having FEMA Region 6 Regional Administrator Tony Robinson work with my office and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to expedite the funding process. About a month ago, while meeting with us during Hurricane Barry, Tony agreed to help prioritize this effort and since then these 20 projects have been approved. I’m also thankful to our congressional delegation for assisting in making the process simpler and faster. We appreciate this collective effort and look forward to additional approvals as we move forward.”
The four recently funded projects include:
- Fire District 5 Safe Rooms, Livingston Parish ($981,718.50) Constructs two (2), 1,500 square foot, dual-use safe rooms to provide protection for nearly 50 critical services personnel. The facilities will serve as the fire station’s living quarters and serve as a hurricane safe room. Property locations are District 5 Fire Station #1 located at 31747 Myers Road in Denham Springs and District 5 Fire Station #2 located at 25500 LA Highway 16 in Denham Springs.
- Home Elevation Project, Livingston Parish ($5,356,533.75) This project provides for the elevation of up to 51 residential structures located throughout the parish to finished floor elevations (FFEs) that are one foot above the base flood elevation (BFE) associated with each property.
- Elevation/Acquisition of Flood-Prone Structures, Tangipahoa Parish ($2,104,006.50) Tangipahoa will elevate 13 repetitive loss and/or substantially damaged homes above the base flood elevation (BFE) and acquire and demolish 4 repetitive loss structures. The acquired properties will be deed-restricted and converted to green space in perpetuity.
- Coulee Ile des Cannes Detention/Retention Outfall Structure, City of Scott/Lafayette Parish ($2,400,000) Lafayette will improve approximately 2,500 linear feet of the Coulee Ile des Cannes in Scott, LA from just north of Dulles Drive to Fenetre Road. The project includes deepening and widening the existing channel. The purpose of the project is to increase the overall capacity of the channel, thus reducing base flood elevations throughout the watershed and increasing flood protection during heavy rain events.
Sixteen projects in seven parishes have also been approved for Phase 1 funding. Those parishes are East Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, Tangipahoa, Vermilion, and Washington.