In Louisiana, 60,000 homes have already been damaged by flooding which began on August 11. This is the worst housing crisis in the state since Hurricane Sandy, four years ago.

  • President Obama declared a disaster area on August 14 and has ordered federal aid to help recovery efforts.
  • The President gave a statement in Baton Rouge, LA, which you can watch above.

Sean Griffin at the White House has released an update on the flooding in Louisiana which Globalo has summarized for our readers below:

The state of Louisiana continues to deal with a significant level of flooding and one of the worst natural disasters in recent years.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson traveled to Louisiana yesterday to assess damages with Governor Edwards, Federal and state responders, and the National Guard, meet with survivors in shelters, and receive an update on the response to ongoing flooding in the state. Secretary Johnson is providing an update on his visit to the President today.

According to the National Weather Service, significant river flooding will persist into this weekend across portions of southern Louisiana as a result of the heavy rainfall that occurred late last week. Additional rain is possible over the weekend in Louisiana where pockets of flash flooding may develop as a result of this additional rainfall.

So here’s what you should know about the federal response in Louisiana:

Federal Response

President Obama has declared 20 parishes for a major disaster for severe storms and flooding, a declaration that makes federal funding available to affected people.

This federal assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. 

Last week when flooding began, President Obama spoke with Governor Edwards of Louisiana last Thursday and ordered federal aid last week to support state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms and flooding — support that will continue as state and local officials in the affected areas address the impacts of the disaster.

Providing housing remains a top priority. FEMA and Louisiana state officials have convened a Strategic Housing Task Force to explore immediate temporary housing solutions for displaced survivors. FEMA is also supporting Louisiana’s Disaster Housing Task Force to help Louisiana residents displaced by the flooding find access to housing.

The Small Business Administration is also opening Business Recovery Center in Walker, LA to provide a wide-range of services. As of today, SBA has issued more than 57,000 applications to homeowners and businesses.

Here’s what FEMA is doing on the ground in Louisiana:

  • More than 979 housing inspectors are on the ground in Louisiana verifying damages reported by survivors who have registered for assistance. The number of inspectors is expected to increase rapidly over the next several days.
  • FEMA established an Incident Support Base in Camp Beauregard in Pineville, Louisiana to distribute supplies such as water, meals, cots and blankets to the state of Louisiana. These include over 800,000 liters of water, over 800,000 meals, over 20,000 cots, and 42,000 blankets.
  • FEMA Mobile Emergency Response Support (MERS) personnel and equipment are deployed to the Incident Support Base in Pineville to support the state with secure and non-secure voice, video and information services to support emergency response communications needs.
  • After the state requested a Federal Urban Search & Rescue task force, FEMA has deployed Texas Task Force 1 to Louisiana.
  • Six FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams are deployed to Louisiana to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.

Already, more than 106,000 people in Louisiana have registered for FEMA Individual Assistance, and more than $55 million has been approved to help survivors with temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs.