Preparedness & Recovery

FEMA Grant to Elevate Eight Properties in Lafourche

The $13.1 million grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help provide property elevation, reconstruction or other mitigation for 59 properties in Lafourche, La.

by Garrett Ohlmeyer, The Houma Courier, La. / July 10, 2017
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(TNS) - A grant announced Friday will help to provide flood mitigation for certain at-risk properties in four parishes in south Louisiana, including Lafourche.

The $13.1 million grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help provide property elevation, reconstruction or other mitigation for 59 properties in Lafourche, Jefferson, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes.

About $1.2 million of that will be spent in Lafourche to elevate eight properties that have very high risk of flooding.

U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, who announced the grant on Friday, said it's a smart use of money through the National Flood Insurance Program.

"No one wants to flood," Kennedy said in a statement. "People lose their homes and businesses, and the federal government ends up spending a lot of money to help them rebuild. What we need to do is ensure that you don't flood in the first place through elevation, the purchase of flood-prone properties and other mitigation work."

The elevated properties will be higher than the base flood elevation ordinance levels, which would reduce the impact of large and small flooding events, according to the statement.

Elevating the properties helps reduce damages to a structure during flooding, which end up reducing the long-term costs to the National Flood Insurance Program and home and business owners.

The NFIP is set to expire Sept. 30, but there are a few bills in Congress that would reauthorize the program. Kennedy said the bill he is sponsoring puts a bigger focus on mitigation efforts because that could save the program money in the long run.

In other parishes that received grant money, Jefferson is spending $4.6 million to reconstruct 24 properties, St. Tammany is using $5.2 million to elevate 23 properties and Livingston is spending $2.1 million to elevate four properties and buy nine others.

-- Staff Writer Garrett Ohlmeyer can be reached at (985) 850-1149 or garrett.ohlmeyer@houmatoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @GOhlmeyer.

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