Gov. Edwards requests for Pres. Biden to declare a major disaster for five Louisiana parishes, including Lafayette

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Homeowner Stephen Punkay, right, dumps a cart-load of wet carpet to add to the debris pile, after the Baker Drive home that he and wife Amy share with their six children got at least six inches of water in Monday night’s deluge of rain in the Westminster subdivision, as they clean up with the help of family, neighbors and “church family” from Community Bible Church, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. Heavy rains have swept across southern Louisiana, flooding homes, swamping cars and closing a major interstate. (Travis Spradling/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La (KLFY) — Friday, Gov. Edwards requested that President Biden declare a federal disaster declaration for Louisiana following severe weather and flash flooding earlier in May, which caused damage to at least 2,000 homes.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness anticipates that damage levels exceed the actual damage reported.

Gov. Edwards’ request is for FEMA Individual Assistance for five parishes – Ascension, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberville and Lafayette. Individual Assistance includes aid from FEMA related to housing and other needs.

The Governor also requested Small Business Administration assistance and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding statewide. The Governor declared a state of emergency for this disaster on May 17, 2021.

The severe weather that quickly affected Louisiana in mid-May caused flash flooding and at least one tornado. Five people died, thousands were without power and many businesses and schools were forced to close,” Gov. Edwards said. “In Calcasieu parish, many people who were impacted in this severe weather also faced damage from Hurricanes Laura and Delta last year, which is heartbreaking. Areas in Southeast Louisiana that flooded had similarly been affected in 2016 during historic flooding in Louisiana. We are coming off of an incredibly active hurricane season, an ongoing pandemic and facing down the next hurricane season in just a few days. I am hopeful the President will grant this disaster declaration to assist our people with their rebuilding process.

Click here to view the Governor’s request.

In total, 1,729 houses were validated damaged from the severe weather, including 5 that were reported as destroyed, 640 suffering major damage, and 1,084 homes having minor damage. Louisiana collected reports from the public via a self-report process at damage.la.gov.

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