Damage caused by Hurricane Laura in Lake Charles, Louisiana

FEMA directs $45 million for Louisiana’s hurricane-ravaged infrastructure

December 26, 2023

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is helping Louisiana recover from Hurricanes Laura and Ida with $45.1 million in disaster relief to support electric infrastructure resiliency and reduce flood risk. The 2020 and 2021 hurricanes caused a combined $115 billion in damage to the state, according to a presentation posted to the Louisiana Department of Insurance’s website.

FEMA will direct $30.7 million to support the purchase of an emergency generator power substation by the Jefferson Davis Electric Cooperative, Inc. (JDEC), an electric utility company that supplies energy to 11,000 customers across five parishes. The federal agency determined that damage to the company’s electrical system was irreparable in a 2022 FEMA document, adding that efforts to restore power are “expected to continue for several years.”

The federal agency will also provide a $10 million grant to support the 25th Street Canal Drainage Improvement Project in the city of Gretna, located on the Mississippi River and part of the New Orleans metro. The project will expand the 25th Street and Heebe canals’ water storage capacity and reduce the area’s flood risk.

The Southwest Louisiana Hospital Association, a non-profit hospital association servicing southwest Louisiana, will receive a $2 million grant for management costs resulting from Hurricane Laura. FEMA will also provide $1.3 million to the Terrebonne Parish School Board for the permanent restoration of four school campuses damaged by Hurricane Ida. Jefferson Parish will also receive nearly $1.1 million to address damages caused by Ida to a local playground.

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Photo by Josiah Pugh

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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