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Slow grant process continues for flood victims

2 years 3 months 3 weeks ago Friday, January 31 2020 Jan 31, 2020 January 31, 2020 5:34 PM January 31, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

GONZALES - A frustrated homeowner in Ascension Parish says he's tired of waiting for answers when it comes to whether his house is going to be elevated.

Lawrence Perkins says his Gonzales property has repeatedly flooded since 2014.

"Every time it rains, the water comes in," Perkins said.

It's happened at least four times, and the worst time was during the August 2016 flood. The repetitive hit to his insurance has caused his rates to skyrocket. It's why he signed up for a grant program through the parish in 2017. 

The Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) Program works with states and communities to reduce or eliminate the repetitive risk of flood damage to buildings or homes and other structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The FMA grant was created as part of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act (NFIRA) with the goal of reducing or eliminating claims under the NFIP.

Perkins is a perfect candidate, but he's concerned with how long he's been waiting to hear back from FEMA.

"I'm tired of waiting," he said.

Both parish and state officials have told WBRZ that it's a very slow process, and so far, there is no hard deadline given by FEMA. Right now, FEMA is in the request for more information phase, which is when it's asked Ascension Parish for more information about the proposed projects.

Perkins is one of 10 homeowners in the parish in the program, and all the projects have to be approved at the same time.

Perkins says he's been told he has to put up a 10-percent match and his house could be elevated by four to five feet.

He's worried the next time it rains, water could damage his property again. Right now, all he can do is wait.


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