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FAQ No.     

Date: Updated: Subject:

Restore Louisiana Task Force

The Restore Louisiana Task Force is charged with overseeing the state's recovery efforts from flood events this year.

The Restore Louisiana Task Force has the following responsibilities:

  • The task force shall establish and recommend to state and local agencies both short and long-term priorities in developing plans for recovery and redevelopment. These priorities and plans shall focus on the following areas: housing and redevelopment; economic and workforce development; education, infrastructure and transportation; healthcare; fiscal stability; family services; and agriculture.
  • In coordination with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), the Office of Community Development and the affected parishes and municipalities, the task force shall assist in developing data about the ongoing individual, business and public infrastructure needs for recovery.
  • The task force shall work in coordination with state and local governments and the federal delegation to assist in identifying additional sources of federal funding, such as Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds.
  • The task force shall establish a federal and state legislative agenda for the recovery and redevelopment effort and for coordinating between levels and branches of government to implement that agenda.
  • The task force shall, in conjunction with parish and local governments, set priorities and offer direction to GOHSEP related to the use of funds made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and any additional available federal funds.

Resource Link:

FAQ No. 57    

Date: 1-16-2019 Updated: 1-16-2019 Subject:

Restore Louisiana Task Force - Proposed Subcommittees

Collection of members, dates, projects, when members went silent and/or stopped actively working within the subcommittees.

From: Erin Monroe Wesley Special Counsel (Policy Director/Legislative Affairs) 9-29-2016 to Task Force Members

"... Congress passed a Continuing Resolution yesterday that included $500 million in flood relief funding for Louisiana and other states. We would like to thank Louisiana's Congressional Delegation, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, and Commissioner Mike Strain for their support of these efforts. The President is expected to sign the bill today. While the final amount for Louisiana is still to be set, this means we can anticipate an initial amount of Disaster Community Development Block Grant funds in the neighborhood of $400 million. The task force must immediately focus on how to prioritize the expenditure of this initial investment of CDBG funds, while we all work collectively to continue pursuing additional federal assistance. "

"... staff recommends that the Restore Louisiana Task Force form six (6) subcommittees that align with the National Disaster Recovery Framework Recovery Support functions.
Those 6 RSF areas are:

  1. Community Planning & Capacity Building
  2. Economic
  3. Health & Social Services
  4. Housing
  5. Infrastructure
  6. Natural & Cultural Resources

These 6 areas encompass core recovery capabilities, and would be supported by an existing infrastructure of both federal and state agencies to compile data and information to feed to the subcommittees in order to drive decisions. Attached to this e-mail, please find staff recommended subcommittee assignments.
1. Community Planning & Capacity Building Subcommittee.

Function: Effectively plan and implement disaster recovery activities; integrated hazard mitigation throughout pre- and post- disaster planning and implementation; serve as a forum to integrate non-governmental and private sector resources into public sector recovery planning processes.


  • Jimmy Durbin
  • Roland Dartez
  • Dave Norris
  • Ollie Tyler

2. Economic Subcommittee.

Function: To sustain and/or rebuild businesses and employment, and develop economic opportunities that result in sustainable & economically resilient communities.


  • Adam Knapp
  • Mike Olivier
  • Don Pierson
  • Sean Reilly

3. Health & Social Services subcommittee.

Function: Assist locally-led recovery efforts in the restoration of the public health, health care, and social services networks to promote resilience, health and well-being of affected individuals & communities.


  • Jacqui Vines Wyatt
  • Raymond Jetson
  • Robert Shadoin

4. Housing subcommittee.

Function: Address pre- and post-disaster housing issues and coordinate and facilitate the delivery of resources to assist in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of destroyed or damaged housing,as well as develop new, accessible permanent housing options.


  • Suzie Elkins
  • Ted James
  • Jim Richardson
  • Joel Robideaux

5. Infrastructure subcommittee.

Function: Efficiently restore infrastructure systems and services to support a viable, sustainable community and improve resilience to and protect from future hazards (scope includes: energy, water, communications, transportation systems, public facilities, flood control and emergency services)


  • Michael Faulk
  • Rogers Pope
  • Shawn Wilson

6. Natural & Cultural Resources subcommittee.

Function: Protect natural and cultural resources and historic properties through appropriate response and recovery actions, and to preserve, conserve, rehabilitate and restore them.


  • Johnny Bradberry
  • Dan Morrish
  • Mike Strain


  • 2016. Restore LA Task Force - Next Steps.pdf

FAQ No. 58    

Date: 1-16-2019 Updated: 1-16-2019 Subject:

Facebook.Com post: Solution 2 Reconstruction members and friends.

Documents obtained from the State of Louisiana detailing how the state was going to pay it's Tier 1 contractors is illustrated in the two attached drawings.

  • First 3 feet is measure from average grade based on elevation certificate data.
  • If less than 3 feet is needed to elevation then the minimum is 2 feet.
  • Pilings driven are paid by linear foot and acceptable for CL soils or worse.
  • Concrete Grade Beam laterally supports pilings and columns and measures 1' by 2' can be above grade or below grade.
  • Slab foundation that laterally supports columns is acceptable up to 4" in thickness as a method used to stabilize columns. (Also known as raft foundation for a pier and beam)
  • Wood Timbers or CMU blocks are used as columns to elevate the structure.
  • Hardware, beams, joists, subfloor are all included in the costs of the reconstruction.

=== END POST ===

The images below represent what the Program developers of the Restore Louisiana Homeowners Program are trying to say and actually trying to do but they are over complicating the process and not documenting procedure to assure quality for each review of elevation costs.

The Program policy states the first 3 feet of elevation (minimum of 2 feet if no elevation is required.) is measured from average grade level. Average grade is recorded on the homeowners elevation certificate.

In the image above, pilings, footers, grade beams, and additional CMU blocks needed to achieve the proper elevation to match HUD CDBG-DR policy which is Base Flood Elevation plus an additional 2 feet.

Prices for the pilings, footers, grade beams, columns have all been documented since June 18, 2018 and are from the programs approved price guide (Xactimate May 16, 2017 Software)

Additional costs of elevation that need to be included in your contractors pricing.

Labor, Equipment, and Materials.

Timber Piles Linear Foot (LF) $18
Concrete Footings Cubic Yard (CY) $450
CMU Blocks Each $15
Stairs / Landings Every Ft of Elevation $400
Survey Square Foot (SF) $0.45
Engineering Square Foot (SF) $1.90
Elevation Certificate Each $500

The Program Management for Solution 2 hired by IEM seems not have have taken it's own elevation reports to apply current costs and grant awards for unmet needs with elevation. This research document will include a spreadsheet to calculate your total reimbursement based on policy and program provided documents.

What costs are included in the reconstruction price that are technically foundation components are as follows.

  • Material and Labor for elevation using any method from AGL to 3 feet above AGL.
  • Flooring system to include sub-floor, joists, beams, hardware required.

The image below identifies foundation components which are standard with all reconstruction projects within the program. Solution 1, 2, 3 all use the same policies regarding the first 3 feet of elevation is included in the costs to reconstruct the home and are not an additional cost or unmet need.

Calculations, formulas are available.

Contact Murray using the TruckAndTools.Com contact page.

FAQ No. 59    

Date: 1-16-2019 Updated: 1-16-2019 Subject:

Good Morning

Thank you for agreeing to serve on the Governor's Restore Louisiana Task Force, which is charged with establishing short and long-term priorities in developing plans for recovery and redevelopment throughout the state of Louisiana as a result of the March and August flooding events. Our first meeting of the task force will be held on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., in House Committee Room 5 at the Louisiana State Capitol. Please let us know if you are able to attend by responding to Lori Dupont, copied here, at I have attached the following documents for your review and records in preparation for our first meeting:

  1. Executive Order JBE No. 16-65 creating the Restore Louisiana Task Force;
  2. A letter from Governor Edwards to President Obama dated August 23, 2016;
  3. A letter from Governor Edwards to President Obama dated September 12, 2016;
  4. A letter from the Executive Office of the President, Office of Management & Budget, to House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers; and
  5. A flood briefing document prepared for our visits with members of Congress.

We would like to engage the members of the task force as early as this week in our meetings with HUD, FEMA, and GOHSEP this Friday, September 23rd. Please let us know if you would like to join us for these meetings this week.

Restore Louisiana Task Force Membership

  • Adam Knapp, President & CEO, Baton Rouge Area Chamber
  • Jacqui Vines, Retired Executive, Cox Communications
  • Don Pierson, Secretary, Louisiana Economic Development
  • Michael Olivier, CEO, Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Inc.
  • Sean Reilly, CEO, Lamar Advertising
  • Michael Faulk, Superintendent, Central Community School System
  • Ollie Tyler, Mayor, City of Shreveport
  • Johnny Bradberry, Executive Assistant to the Governor for Coastal Affairs, Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority Board Chairman
  • Dr. Shawn Wilson, Secretary, Department of Transportation & Development
  • Dr. James A. Richardson, State Economist
  • Raymond Jetson, Board Member, Baton Rouge Area Foundation, President & CEO, MetroMorphosis
  • Ronnie Harris, Executive Director, Louisiana Municipal Association
  • Roland Dartez, Executive Director, Louisiana Police Jury Association
  • Jimmy Durbin, Former Mayor, City of Denham Springs
  • Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President, Lafayette Parish
  • Dave Norris, Mayor, City of West Monroe
  • Mike Strain, Commissioner, Department of Agriculture & Forestry
  • Edward "Ted" James, State Representative, District 101
  • Dan W. "Blade" Morrish, State Senator, District 25
  • J. Rogers Pope, State Representative, District 71
  • Robert E. Shadoin, State Representative, District 12
  • Suzie Elkins, Consultant

Restore Louisiana Task Force Staff Support

  • Erin Monroe Wesley, Special Counsel, Office of the Governor
  • Pat Forbes, Executive Director, Office of Community Development
  • Rowdy Gaudet, Chief of Staff, Office of Community Development
  • Lori Dupont, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director, Office of Community Development

Additional staffers to be identified.
We look forward to working with each of you in our state's recovery efforts.

Erin Monroe Wesley
Special Counsel (Policy Director/Legislative Affairs)

Research Reference:

FAQ No. 60    

Date: 1-31-2019 Updated: 2-3-2019 Subject:

c/o Renee Mozee
P. O. Box 44486
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4486

(225) 342-6171
HCR 51, 2014 RS; HCR 66, 2015 RS; HCR 39,2016 RS

Member Address
Barrow, Regina Ashford (Sen.) 4811 Harding Blvd. #G
Baton Rouge, LA 70811
Carpenter, Barbara W. (Rep.) 1975 Harding Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70807
Erdey, Dale M. (Sen.) P. O. Box 908
Livingston, LA 70754
Harrell, Mark P. O. Box 1060
Livingston, LA 70754
Hodges, Valarie (Rep.) 35055 LA Highway 16, Suite 2A
Denham Springs, LA 70706
Knotts, Christopher P., P.E. LA DOTD, Public Works & Water Resources
P. O. Box 94245, Section 64
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
Lanclos, Jason Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of LA
P. O. Box 44027
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4027
Passman, Jerry LA Home Builders Association
4011 O'Neal Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Pope, J. Rogers (Rep.) P. O. Box 555
Denham Springs, LA 70727
Rogillio, Brandon Rogillio co., Inc.
444 Wooddale Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Saucier, R. J. 6643 Bryce Canyon Drive
Greenwell Springs, LA 70739
Sawyer, Paul Brian LA Congressional Delegation
2351 Energy Drive, Ste. 1200
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Stephens, Thomas A. P. E. P. O. Box 1471
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
Thibeau, Jerry Ray 41271 Highway 933
Prairieville, LA 70769
White, Mack A. "Bodi" Jr. (Sen.) 808 O'Neal Lane
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Zeringue, Brenda B. C. J. Brown Realtons, Inc.
10911 Shoe Creek Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70818-4020

FAQ No. 61    

Date: 2-1-2019 Updated: 2-1-2019 Subject:

c/o Lori Dupont
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9004


EO-JBE 2016-65

Member Address
Bradberry, Johnny B. Office of the Governor
P. O. Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Clouatre, Randy T. Sr. 1024 E. Ascension Complex Blvd
Gonzales, LA 70737
Dartez, Roland 707 North 7th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5327
Durbin, James E. 900 N. Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Faulk, Michael W. 12636 Sullivan Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70818
Gallagher, John Andrew 700 N. 10th Street, #400
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Gissel, Darryl S. 666 N. 6th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5319
James, Edward C. "Ted" II (Rep.) 445 N. 12th Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Knapp, Adam Baton Rouge Area Chamber
564 Laurel Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Morrish, Dan "Blade" W. (Sen.) 119 W. Nezpique Street
Jennings, LA 70546
Norris, Dave N. 2305 North 7th Street, West
West Monroe, LA 71291
Olivier, Michael J. 450 Laurel Street, Suite 1830
Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Pierson, Donald M. "Don" Jr. Department of Economic Development
1051 North Third Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Pope, J. Rogers (Rep.) P. O. Box 555
Denham Springs, LA 70727
Reilly, Sean Eugene 16560 Old Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
Richardson, James A. Ph.D. 4005 Nicholson Extension
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Robideaux, Joel C. 705 W. University Ave.
Lafayette, LA 70506
Shadoin, Robert E. (Rep.) 207 W. Mississippi, Ste. 300
Ruston, LA 71270
Strain, Mike, D.V.M. LA Department of Agriculture and Forestry
5825 Florida Blvd., Suite 2000
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
Tyler, Ollie S. 505 Travis Street, Suite 200
Shreveport, LA 71101
Wilson, Shawn D., Ph.D. Department of Transportation
P. O. Box 94245
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9245
Wyatt, Jacqueline Vines 18713 St. Andrews Court, West
Prairieville, LA 70769

FAQ No. 62    

Date: 2-1-2019 Updated: 2-1-2019 Subject:

Office of the Governor State of Louisiana John Bel Edwards

P.O. Box 94004 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9004
(225) 342-7015

August 23, 2016

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I would first like to thank you for visiting Louisiana and for the support your administration is giving to our state in this time of great need. As Louisiana rebuilds from this catastrophic and historic flooding event, our federal partners have been responsive to all our requirements. In particular, I want to express my appreciation for the work done by administrator Fugate and his team at FEMA. From the very beginning of this event, FEMA has been by our side and I am confident this cooperation will continue through our recovery.

As you know, this flood event has been devastating for south Louisiana. It has resulted in destruction to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure in twenty-six (26) parishes, with twenty (20) of those parishes being included in the Major Disaster Declaration. Further, this event comes on the heels of the March 2016 flood event which saw flooding in every corner of the state and included thirty-seven (37) parishes in the Major Disaster Declaration. s in previous times of difficulty for Louisiana, our people have risen to meet the challenge and to help their friends, families, and neighbors - or even total strangers - begin the process of starting anew. While we do not doubt the ability of our citizens to recover, we need the help of the federal government. Thus, after careful consideration of Louisiana's needs, I ask that you consider the following requests.

  1. State cost share reduction. I ask you to grant Louisiana relief from the 25% costs share from this event and for the March 2016 flood event. Given the amount of destruction from both of these declared disasters, I am confident that we will exceed the threshold of $137 in damages per capita. In this event, we believe well over 100,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. In March, more than 29,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Further, the damage to public buildings, roads, and bridges has been devastating. While we are still assessing damages from this flood, we know that from the March Floods we have over $20 million in damages to roads and bridges. The damage from this most event will be considerably higher. I therefore ask you to reduce Louisiana's cost share from 25% to 10%. Further, because the need to get our citizens back in their homes and communities quickly and safely is so acute, I ask that you forgive completely the state's cost share for the the Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) program and the shelter in home assistance available under Category B.
  2. Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. As you know, this was a one in a thousand year flood event, and most of the affected homeowners did not, nor were required to, have flood insurance. The individual Assistance funds that will be available, while critical, will simply not be sufficient to allow our citizens to rebuild their homes. Without an appropriation of CDBG-DR funds, many neighborhoods and communities will not be able to recover. I ask that you include a supplemental appropriation in your budget request to Congress to fill the enormous gap that will exist between the available funds and the costs to rebuild. Given that we are still assessing the damage to homes, businesses, and public infrastructure, I ask that you allow me to supplement this request in short order with hard data about the needs for Louisiana. Within ten (10) days, I believe I will be able to provide you with clear information about the damage assessments and specifics about the necessary federal assistance.
  3. Hazard mitigation funds. Administrator Fugate has confirmed that this event will not cause FEMA to revisit its flood maps, and that those homes and businesses not in flood zones will not need to be elevated. This is a very welcome statement, which will allow for homeowners to immediately begin the process of rebuilding their homes. We do not plan to encourage or require homeowners to immediately begin the process of rebuilding their homes. We do not plan to encourage or require homeowners and businesses to simply build higher. Instead, I intend to focus on large scale and community based mitigation projects. One such project is the Comite River Diversion Project. This project, which was first authorized in 1994, would have diverted a significant amount of the flow of the Comite River into the Mississippi River and away from homes and businesses in East Feliciana, St. Helena, East Baton Rouge, and Livingston parishes. The Corps [Army Corps of Engineers] reports the construction plans are 95% complete. in the First Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature this year, I approved state funds to relocate utilities. Residents have paid taxes for this project for nearly 20 years. All that remains to be funded is the congressionally authorized federal share. To facilitate this request, I ask that you allocate $125 million to the Army Corps of Engineers to construct this critical flood protection project. Further, I ask that you further empower Louisiana and allow for inclusion of Work-In-Kind on this project. I also request that Louisiana be able to use recovery funds to satisfy the non-federal share of acquisitions of Land, Easements, Rights of Way, Relocations, and Disposals (LERRDS). This worthy and necessary project is only one part of the hazard mitigation plan that we intend to develop with federal funding and assistance.
  4. FHWA Emergency Highway funding. This flooding event inundated many roadways throughout southern Louisiana, affecting interstate highways, along with dozens of state, parish, and local roads. Our Department of Transportation and Development is actively inspecting all affected roads and bridges, and it is certain the infrastructure needs will be immediate and significant. To help Louisiana respond to this disaster, the Emergency Relief funding backlog must be cleared. By clearing this $724 million backlog, Louisiana would be able to receive $14 million from the March 2016 flood and up to $25 million for the most recent flooding. Further, given the backlog, I ask that you also waive the 180 day limit on Emergency Relief funds. I also request that the state be allowed to use ER funds to mitigate roadway inundation to ensure that interstate highways remain open and available, even during future flood events.
  5. Title 32 status for Louisiana National Guard. In an August 17, 2016 letter to Secretary Ashton Carter, I requested that the Louisiana National Guard be granted Title 32 USC 502(f) status for up to 2,800 Soldiers and Airmen called up in active duty in response to the flooding. I ask that you and Secretary Carter give strong consideration to this request which would allow for 100% funding of the LANG response for 30 days of service.
  6. Waiver of state cost share for Hurricane and Storm Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS). While this storm was not a named tropical system, it is a stark reminder of the destruction that could be caused if a hurricane were to strike Louisiana. To protect against such a future disaster, we must restore our coast. However, the costs to do so are enormous. Because of the funding arrangement and state share requirements for the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity (LPV) and Westbank and Vicinity (WPV) projects, Louisiana is obligated to make approximately $100 million in annual payments to the federal government through 2048, which will result in payments of over $3 billion. These obligations are crippling to the state as we attempt to fund Master Plan projects designed to save the Louisiana coast. The 2012 Master Plan has a 50 year cost of $50 billion, and I fully expect the 2017 Master Plan to have significantly higher costs. As such, I request that you grant Louisiana a full waiver of the cost share requirements for these projects. A full waiver will allow Louisiana to spend these needed funds on coastal projects to prevent future disasters. Further, these coastal protection projects will protect the federal investments in the LPV and WPV as well as the necessary infrastructure of the oil and gas industry.
  7. Community Disaster Loan Program. While this is a program normally used for local governments, I request taht you allow FEMA to use this program to provide needed funding for Louisiana. Beause of the significant budget shortfalls I inherited from my predecessor and the low price of oil, Louisiana is in the throws of a budget crisis. Even before this disaster, we anticipated significant cash flow issues in the fall that which will be worsened and more imminent with the recent spending in response to the flood. Before this event, my administration was in consideration of floating revenue anticipation bonds to carry us through this cash flow crisis. If this loan program were to be made available to the state, Louisiana would be able to recover from this event more effectively, while at the same time getting back on sound financial footing.
  8. Recovery Task Force. In the coming days, I intend to issue an Executive Order creating a task force to oversee the recovery from this flood event. Given the need for federal help, I ask that you trigger FEMA's National Disaster Recovery Framework to assist this task force in the coordination of Louisiana's recovery. Further, I ask that you delegate members of your administration from Housing and Urban Development, Homeland Security, Transportation, Commerce, and Health and Human Services to be full participants in this task force. With meaningful participation in the planning and development of programs to assist our citizens to return to their communities, our federal partners can continue to be part of rebuilding Louisiana.

    The people of Louisiana are strong and resilient. However, the severity of this flood event, combined with the other difficulties faced in this state over the last several months, is testing our spirit in ways we have not seen since the challenges posed by Hurricane Katrina. While I know our best days remain in front of us, we need help from the federal government to get us there. I ask that you please consider all of these requests and that you encourage your administration to continue its strong support for Louisiana's recovery.

    John Bel Edwards

    cc: FEMA Administrator, W. Craig Fugate
    Senator David B. Vitter
    Senator William G. "Bill" Cassidy
    Congressman Stephen J. Scalise
    Congressman Cedric L. Richmond
    Congressman Garret N. Graves
    Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr.
    Congressman Ralph L. Abraham, Jr.
    Congressman John C. Fleming, Jr.

Research Reference:

FAQ No. 63    

Date: 2-3-2019 Updated: 2-3-2019 Subject:

Office of the Governor State of Louisiana John Bel Edwards

P.O. Box 94004 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9004
(225) 342-7015

September 12, 2016

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As I discussed in my original August 23, 2016 letter that I delivered to you on your visit to Baton Rouge, we continue to re-evaluate and assess the needs of the people of Louisiana as we recover from the devastating flooding that has inundated our state. In that regard, I would like to take this opportunity to update the requests I have made for needed federal assistance to Louisiana.

In my September 2, 2016 letter to you, I requested $2 billion for estimated unmet needs in the areas of housing, economic impact, and infrastructure. After discussions with our Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Louisiana congressional delegation, we are supplementing this request for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-DR) funds to include investments in our state's resilience. I am requesting an additional $800 million for resilient infrastructure projects implemented both locally and on a watershed-wide basis in the flood impacted areas. As I discussed in my recent meeting with Secretary Castro, the objectives of these projects will be to reduce the base flood elevations in entire basins, protecting far more homes and businesses from future flooding than elevations and other flood-proofing measures, and reducing overall damage from future flood events. This will also include projects that make existing infrastructure and infrastructure currently under design more resilient in future disruptions. Effective implementation of this approach will require large-scale planning and design to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the investments.

In meetings with Director Donovan and Secretary Castro just this past week, I emphasized the severity of the situation in Louisiana and the critical role that time plays in this recovery. As I write this letter, the people of Louisiana are making decisions about whether they can rebuild their homes or reopen their businesses. They need to know how that they will have the resources to start again. Given the urgency of these decisions, I ask that you request Congress include an emergency appropriation for CDBG-DR funds of $2.8 billion in the continuing resolution currently under consideration in Congress. Delay in giving people hope that they will be able to get their homes and communities back will be devastating to the success of the recovery.

This request for CDBG-DR funds is the most critical need for Louisiana, but it is far from the only one. I reaffirm the requests I made in my August 23, 2016 letter, which include requests for funding for projects like the Comite River Diversion project as well as other significant infrastructure projects. In addition, clearing the FHWA Emergency Relief funding backlog, which has $39 million in funding for Louisiana highway projects, would have a significant positive impact on the recovery. While most of the backlog is committed to projects in other states, this $39 million in funding will allow for assessment and road improvement projects for the dozens of roadways which were damaged by the floodwaters.

I also believe that it is also critically important to address the impact of the flooding events on Louisiana families, particularly children, who have suffered through the trauma of this disaster. The ability of our state to provide quality mental health and support services to disaster-affected populations is a key component to our state's recovery. I formally request your consideration of $92 million in Social Services Block Grant funding to assist Louisiana families in coping with the emotional toll of rebuilding their lives and communities.

Lastly, I want to thank you for your September 8, 2016 letter and your decision to approve a 90% cost share for public assistance for the August flooding. While this cost share reduction will provide much needed relief to the State of Louisiana and local goverments, I ask you to reconsider the decision to limit this cost share to only public assistance for the August flood. Given that the effects of this flood were compounded by the earlier March flooding and the devastating effect it has had on individuals in the 56 of the 64 Louisiana parishes that you have declared for major disaster in the last fire months, I ask that you expand the cost share to include the March 2016 flooding (DR-4263) and to individual assistance in both events. The overall effect of these two events will have long-lasting effects on the already fragile economy of Louisiana, and a shift of the cost share would be a significant part of our recovery.

Once again, I want to thank you for the personal attention you and your administration have given to our state and our recovery. I appreciate your attention to thse requests, and I look forward to discussing the issues facing Louisiana when I am able to meet with you at the White House later this week.

John Bel Edwards

cc: Senator David B. Vitter
Senator William G. "Bill" Cassidy
Congressman Stephen J. Scalise
Congressman Cedric L. Richmond
Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr.
Congressman John C. Fleming, Jr.
Congressman Ralph L. Abraham, Jr.
Congressman Garret N. Graves

Research Reference:

FAQ No. 64    

Date: 2-3-2019 Updated: 2-3-2019 Subject:

Office of the Governor State of Louisiana John Bel Edwards
P.O. Box 94004 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9004
(225) 342-7015

September 2, 2016

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

First, I want to thank you again for personally visiting flood impacted areas of Louisiana on August 23, 2016, and for sending a number of your cabinet-level secretaries to our state in response to the August floods. I am confident that it was beneficial for you and members of your cabinet to witness first-hand some of the severe impacts the floods had on Louisiana's families and businesses, and in particular visiting with Louisianans who were literally in the process of gutting their homes and trying to determine a clear path towards their recovery.

During your visit, and in my August 23rd letter to you, I requested both a supplemental appropriation of Disaster Recovery Community Development Block Grant (CDBG-DR) funds and an allocation to the Army Corps of Engineers for the Comite River Diversion project, in order to assist Louisiana in its recovery from the severe storms and flooding occurring in both March and August 2016. The combination of these two storm events has had a devastating impact on our state and our citizens. While short-term relief for immediate needs available through FEMA for items such as temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs are greatly needed and greatly appreciated, our full recovery will not be realized without additional help. This is particularly true for the large number of residents who experienced flooding outside of the designated high-risk flood zones. The majority of these citizens did not carry flood insurance, and I impress upon you that they will not be able to make critical decisions on rebuilding their homes and their lives without the availability of CDBG-DR funds. This additional assistance is critical to Louisiana's full recovery from these floods.

Because of this, I am reiterating to you my call for a Congressional appropriation of CDBG-DR funds for Louisiana, and that this appropriation take place during Congress' September session. Based on the information we have thus far, I believe $2 billion of CDBG-DR funds for additional public investments in housing, economic development, and resilient infrastructure will be necessary for the recovery of our state. With FEMA verified unmet needs in housing repairs, which are typically well below what is actually required to repair a home, estimated at over $900 million, and taking into account that as many as 15% of households may never register for FEMA Individual Assistance, and understanding that over 80% of the flooded homes did not have flood insurance at the time, the funds required to bring these communities back could well exceed $1.2 billion in housing alone. Considering these losses, in combination with the economic impacts of over $3 billion and the as yet unknown public infrastructure damages, I believe $2 billion in CDBG-DR funds is a very reasonable request.

I have discussed the importance of a CDBG-DR appropriations with all of the members of Louisiana's Congressional Delegation, seeking their full backing and asking that they secure the endorsement of their Congressional colleagues. In support of this request, I offer just some of the damage data and estimates of the substantial and long-term impacts of both the August and March flood events:

As a result of the August floods, preliminary data show:

  • Damage to over 55,000 homes has been documented by FEMA so far, with the number expected to rise to over 110,000 as individual assistance (IA) registrations and inspections continue;
  • Based on current registration numbers and historic trends, we estimate that over 150,000 households will apply for individual assistance, with an estimated housing unmet need of $750 million to over $1 billion;
  • Over 80% of flooded households did not have flood insurance, as most were not in the 100-year floodplain;
    Initial indications are that the majority of the flooded households are low-to-moderate income and 20% are renters;
  • Thousands of miles of state and local roads remained under water for extended periods. Estimates are that 30 state roads washed out and 1,400 bridges will need to be inspected;
  • Along with over 200 highways closed statewide during the event, sections of Interstates 10 and 12 were closed for multiple days due to floodwaters. Some areas of I-10 remained closed for nearly a week, significantly interrupting interstate commerce;
  • An estimated 31% of the homes in the impacted parishes are in areas affected by flooding, and only 11% of households in the flood impacted areas carry flood insurance;
  • Conservative estimates for economic impact to the agricultural sector currently stand at over $110 million;
  • Estimates of economic loss in labor productivity stand at over $300 million, with an estimated $836 million loss in value added during the period immediately surrounding the storm;
  • Current estimates indicate that over 6,000 businesses experienced flooding, with structural, inventory and equipment damages of over $2.2 billion;
  • Operations at 19,900 (20%) of Louisiana businesses were disrupted, with a total workforce disruption of 278,500 workers, or 14% of the Louisiana workforce;
    5,447 disaster-related unemployment claims have been filed as of August 18, 2016;
  • Estimates of public infrastructure damage are under way, but will take considerably more time to compile and analyze;
  • Total estimated losses from this disaster, not including public infrastructure, are over $8.7 billion.

As a result of the March storms and flooding:

  • More than 29,000 homes were damaged;
  • A total of 6,143 non-housing structures were damaged;
    Along with numerous road closures during the event, estimates of $20 million in road and bridge damage;
  • Agricultural losses of approximately $15 million, with long-term impacts to farmers of $80 million;
  • 521 disaster-related unemployment claims have been filed;
    Over 40,000 citizens registered for individual assistance.

I am confident that with the local, state and federal resources already being applied to this disaster, along with the resources I'm requesting here, Louisiana will recover from this disaster stronger than before. With smart investments in housing, economic development, infrastructure and planning, we can make our state more resilient in the face of future disasters, whatever they may be. It is also worth noting that because Louisiana has been the recipient of CDBG-DR funds for previous disasters, our state already has the necessary infrastructure in place to appropriately and compliantly administer these funds. Be assured that we will continue to be good stewards of these taxpayer dollars, and that they will go toward the recovery of our state and its citizens.

In spite of the fact that this was a 1,000 year flood event, we know that we can expect more extreme weather events in the future. Because of this, we also feel it is critical that we take steps to make our communities safer in the future. The Comite River Diversion project has been in the works for nearly 20 years, and, if completed, would have reduced some of the impacts of this flood event. We believe it is critical to fully fund this project, as well as complete studies of the Amite River Basin to guide our future investments in resilient infrastructure in this watershed. Understanding how to reduce flood levels in the basin and taking steps to do so is a far superior option to simply trying to elevate all the homes out of the floodplain. As such, I am also including a request for funding for thse efforts through the Army Corpos of Engineers to complete the work that has been started, including $125 million to complete the Comite River Diversion project.

Mr. President, in the face of the adversity our state is experiencing, I have been so proud to have witnessed how Louisiana and her citizens have remained "Louisiana Strong." In response to both disasters, neighbors, school and church groups, and non-profit organizations immediately stepped up to provide needed flood, shelter and care for those who lost homes and possessions. And since the storms we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support from our fellow Americans across the entire country, lending their love and support to our state. The generous hearts and spirit of resilience of the American citizen continues to be an inspiration.

I am confident that with your continued support, our state will be provided with the necessary appropriation of CDBG-DR funds to work towards a full recovery.

Thank you for your partnership in this effort, and for your attention to this request.

John Bel Edwards

cc: FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate
HUD Secretary Julian Castro
USACE Chief of Engineers and Commanding General Lt. General Todd T. Semonite
Senator David B. Vitter
Senator William G. "Bill" Cassidy
Congressman Stephen J. Scalise
Congressman Cedric L. Richmond
Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr.
Congressman John C. Fleming, Jr.
Congressman Ralph L. Abraham, Jr.
Congressman Garret N. Graves

FAQ No. 65    

Date: 2-3-2019 Updated: 2-3-2019 Subject:

From: Erin Monroe Wesley []
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 10:22 AM
To: Adam Knapp
Cc: Pat Forbes ; Rowdy Gaudet
Subject: Restore LA Task Force Follow Up - EDA Request
Adam –
You made a great point in yesterday's meeting regarding the need for Louisiana to request flood relief assistance from the EDA. Can you give me additional background information on the kinds of relief requested after Katrina or what you envision our request should be?
Erin Monroe Wesley
Special Counsel (Policy Director/Legislative Affairs)

From: Adam Knapp
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:17 AM
To: Erin Monroe Wesley
Cc: Pat Forbes; INACTIVE - Rowdy Gaudet
Subject: RE: Restore LA Task Force Follow Up - EDA Request
I'll see if we can find what they did after Katrina and Rita. I don't recall specifics. Garrett Graves had brought it up to us a few weeks ago that he was contemplating an economic development appropriation request through EDA. I'm not sure if they are still trying to venture in that direction, and will check with Paul.

From: Pat Forbes
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2016 11:53 AM
To: Erin Monroe Wesley; Adam Knapp
Cc: Rowdy Gaudet
Subject: RE: Restore LA Task Force Follow Up - EDA Request
I'm checking with Adrienne. I don't remember an EDA grant, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

Research Resources:
1. FOIA Email
2. EDA . Gov Disaster Relief

FAQ No. 66    

Date: 2-3-2019 Updated: 2-3-2019 Subject:

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