PONCHATOULA, La. — Senator Bill Cassidy is lining up more money from Washington to help with Hurricane Ida recovery.
Thursday afternoon, he got a good look at the damage in Tangipahoa Parish. The Senator saw a lot of toppled trees in the region, but noted how the area is already pulling together to rebound. Ultimately, he knows while cleanup is underway, it will take time and lots of help for communities to recover.
In Ponchatoula, the stars and stripes wave in front of a home hit hard by Ida. A massive tree sliced through the home as Jeff Fabre’s mom and sister were riding out the storm.
“We got a contractor in to look at the house and they said it’s going to have to be gutted,” Fabre said.
For now, his family moved in with him.
Across the region, debris is stacking up and causing residents to be concerned about future storms.
Fabre said, “Of course you have worries about flooding because a lot of the debris is in the ditches.”
Contractors are working to remove the debris.
Senator Cassidy as well as Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller said that trees primarily took out utility lines, but some homes are uninhabitable. Roughly 1,000 people are displaced and funding for housing is still pending.
“We want to try to get folks back to their property as quickly as possible in something that’s safe and long lasting,” Miller said.
Senator Cassidy is confident Louisiana will get additional funding for Ida recovery as well as supplemental aid more than a year after Hurricanes Laura and Delta in Southwestern Louisiana.
“We’re not the only state hit. There’s a bunch of states in the northeast who have lots of damage. So, that Congressional Delegation is onboard with us. We’ve been the only delegation fighting so far. Now, we’ve got a bunch more,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy said President Biden has indicated he would like $10 billion for Ida recovery and there will be a chance for additional money when the damage is tallied up.
The Senator is also pushing for funding to bury utilities.
“Those things which are most likely to preserve electricity in the next big storm should be buried or in some other way hardened,” Senator Cassidy said.