Gov. Edwards helps repair flood-damaged home in Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - Dozens of volunteers and Governor's staff got an early start to commemorate the one year anniversary of historic flooding in Baton Rouge.
Governor John Bel Edwards and the First Lady joined administration officials and staff for a service project at the home of Ms. Lucille Huggins, who's still displaced. The 83-year-old former St. Francisville teacher has been so for 365 days.
"Trying to get the house back in place, it was a struggle," Huggins said.
On Saturday, the day that marks one year since four-feet of water devastated her home, she had a lot of helping hands.
"I am happy to have everyone here," Huggins beamed.
She said the Restore Louisiana Program is helping her get back in her house quicker.
As of August 12, one year since the flood, less than half the amount of people who applied for FEMA assistance following the flood, 90,000, have applied for this program. A number Governor Edwards, who got busy helping the Restore Louisiana Task Force today,
said needs to grow.
"It's important whether people think they're eligible or not, no matter their income, no matter if they had insurance or not, we need people to take the survey," Edwards said.
Governor Edwards says the process of Restore Louisiana, is evolving daily.
"We're looking to greatly increase the amount of awards we're making," Edwards added.
Even with the progress, he said they are meeting once a week, constantly looking to improve and smooth out the assistance program.
"We had checks out the door within 50 days within receiving the money. Here we are on the anniversary date, over 11 million in awards have been given, 463 to be exact. So, I'm not satisfied with that number because there are so many people with their lives still upside down," Edwards said.
The first phase of the assistance aims at helping low-to-moderate income families, who are elderly or have family living with disabilities.
By next year, Governor Edwards says he plans on having every home restored. Over 40,000 people have taken the survey.
"While we're frustrated and can always do better with this program, this is the fastest that any awards have ever been made," Edwards said.
Click HERE to take the survey and see if you are eligible for recovery assistance.