Lake Charles Mayor offers insight on Southeast Louisiana hurricane recovery

Hurricane Ida

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Friday, President Biden will visit areas devastated by Hurricane Ida.

Governor John Bel Edwards has a long list of aid requests not only for Southwest Louisiana, but Southwest as well.

The Governor as well as Louisiana’s Congressional delegation will ask for a permanent housing program not only for residents impacted by Hurricane Ida, but those still recovering from Hurricane Laura on year later.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said while many lessons can be learned from Southwest Louisiana, the nation’s focus needs to be Hurricane Ida recovery.

Hunter said as the people of Southeast Louisiana are in desperate need of help, many want to offer aid any way possible. Last year, two major hurricanes hit Lake Charles; Laura and Delta.

“There is the splintering effect where you have hundreds of people doing hundreds of different things that can be less efficient and less effective than a smaller group trying to coordinate and try to use maximum efficiency for the resources that are out there,” Hunter said.

Hunter suggests municipalities should delegate and coordinate with non-profits to make sure immediate needs are taken care of. He added cash donations to a well vetted, trustworthy non-profit can sometimes go further.

“It may be water and food and diapers that are needed today. It might be medicine, a wheelchair, a generator, a window unit that is needed tomorrow or the next week,” Hunter said.

Governor Edwards is promising more Federal aid is coming. The immediate need is housing not only for survivors of Hurricane Ida, but those in Southwest Louisiana following Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

“We know the nation is focused on Louisiana right now for Ida and we will take advantage of that and see if we can turn that into a very speedy appropriation in Congress,” Edwards said.

Mayor Hunter said, “Right now, our family in Southeast Louisiana needs more immediate attention than we do. When people are displaced, they need resources and we want to help because we’ve been there and also, it’s the right thing to do.”

Right now, there are multiple supply drives in Southwest Louisiana to help those recovering from Hurricane Ida.

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