Edwards administration defends flood response
BATON ROUGE- Governor Edwards' Administration pushed back against criticism Thursday that it's too slow in responding to the August flood. Friday Edwards will present the state's first disaster relief program 147 days after the storm.
"Only twenty of the days have been in the control of the state," said Edwards spokesperson Julie Payer.
Congress approved almost half-a-billion dollars for the state program in September, 48 days after the flood waters rose. However, federal regulations tied up the money for another 80 days and will continue to keep money out of victim's reach for a few more months.
The response is still quicker than hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Issac but for critics like Congressman Garret Graves, it hasn't been fast enough. "The people are victims right now and they're being victimized over and over again," he said at the Baton Rouge Press Club in December.
However the Edwards' Administration cried foul Thursday because federal disaster regulations were created by congress under the Stafford Act. "They can help us remove the federal obstacles, they can help us to clean up the Stafford Act and make it better for states like Louisiana going forward," said Payer.