Devastation in Louisiana
The past two weeks have been a devastating time for the southern part of Louisiana, as a storm swept through the state and caused massive flooding. An estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of water, according to meteorologist Ryan Maue, fell in southern Louisiana between August 8 and 14. The storm has been deemed the worst disaster to hit the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Death and Damages
Due to the storm, at least 13 people lost their lives, more than 60,000 homes were affected, and, all told, there has been at least $30 million dollars of estimated damage. All of these numbers have the potential to grow as clean-up continues.
Assistance is pouring into the state as recovery efforts take shape. FEMA announced Friday that more than $56 million in federal assistance had been allocated throughout the first week of recovery efforts.
FEMA approved more than $39 million to help those affected by the storm for temporary rental assistance, essential home repairs, and other serious disaster-related needs, and also approved $2 million to help pay for public assistance programs.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) also came to the aid of policy holders by sending $10.5 million in advance payments to help those affected by the flood. Additionally, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved more than $3.5 million for low interest loans to survivors and business who are either uninsured or underinsured.
There has been more than financial assistance, as well, as the U.S. Coast Guard and Louisiana National Guard have been activated to aid recovery efforts. With their assistance, working alongside emergency responders and good samaritans, more than 20,000 residents have been rescued from their homes to safety along with more than 1,000 pets and livestock.
— FEMA (@fema) August 18, 2016
Call for Help
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards stated Sunday that, despite current efforts, more assistance was needed. He asked "for people to donate to the Red Cross, to the Baton Rouge area foundation, and also to come in and volunteer to help people get back in to their homes as quickly as possible."
How to Get Assistance
If you or someone you know has been affected by the floods, visit FEMA for detailed information on how to request assistance here.link