Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) announced today that Livingston Parish will receive a $5.3 million federal grant to fund the elevation of 88 homes that were substantially damaged during the 2016 flood.
This funding is a result of the roughly $300 million in federal hazard mitigation dollars that Graves spearheaded in Congress in the months following the record flood.
“We are getting into the good part now with the progress being made – you’re seeing the clearing and snagging of our waterways, dirt turning on Comite, and now we’re going to start seeing properties being elevated – as the federal dollars we fought hard to secure for Louisiana after 2016 are being put to work to make us stronger,” said Graves.
According to Mark Harrell, Director of the Livingston Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparation, this grant will fund the elevation of 88 properties that either have suffered repetitive loss or were substantially damaged structures in 2016. All properties will be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and in compliance with local building ordinances.
The Parish has applied for additional awards, which will ultimately total $15 million in home elevations, which will also lead to lower risk for flood insurance. Congressman Graves recently directly urged FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor to expedite Louisiana's long, lingering hazard mitigation grant funding. Graves has been told by FEMA that nearly all the $300 million will be completely paid out by the end of this year.
The $300 million in hazard mitigation funding is part of the overall $3 billion in federal funding for Louisiana flood protection and drainage improvements. Also included in this amount are the approximately $1.4 billion for Corps of Engineers projects like the Comite River Diversion Canal and West Shore Hurricane Protection Project, among others - and approximately $55 million in the clearing and snagging of 350 miles of Livingston Parish creeks, rivers and bayous. Also included is the highly anticipated $1.2 billion in federal flood mitigation funds secured by Graves for future flood protection. Additional news about this allotment should be forthcoming very soon.