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Billions of dollars later, Louisiana still rebuilding after major storms

1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago Monday, May 20 2024 May 20, 2024 May 20, 2024 9:22 PM May 20, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE -  During the past five years, Louisiana has faced its fair share of hurricanes and natural disasters.

Lake Charles is still littered with blue roofs after three hurricanes hit within a matter of months. Then Ida caused billions of dollars in damage to the southeastern parts of the state. 

Since then, the federal government has stepped in periodically and dropped money for relief. Congressman Garret Graves says he’s spearheaded some of the funding, but he says getting relief money in Washington D.C can be a challenge.

“If you have a state that has a lot of disasters, there can be fatigue,” Graves said.

In 2020, hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta combined for an estimated $40 billion in damages. Meanwhile, people in Lake Charles lived in tents, while roofs and walls remained ripped from their homes. 

After the three storms, Graves says it took more than a year and a half to get significant federal dollars flowing for construction and infrastructure repairs. 

“I think that you had people that were living in completely unreasonable conditions for longer periods of time,” Graves said. “I'm going to guess that you probably had people that moved out, and just said I'm not staying here because of those delays.”

Hurricane Ida hit southeast Louisiana in 2021. Graves says the recovery dollars were allocated within 30 days. He says money is now headed towards fortifying the state’s coast, coastal restoration, preparedness and preventing future damage to the hard-hit areas.

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