USA – 2,700 Homes Damaged in Mid-May Floods in Louisiana, Governor Requests Federal Disaster Declaration

The state government of Louisiana reports that more than 2,700 homes in five parishes were damaged during the flash floods and severe weather in mid-May 2021.

Flood rescues in Lake Charles, La, May 2021. Photo Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office

The state government said that as of late May, over 2,700 homes have been reported as damaged from the severe weather, including 6 that were reported as destroyed, 703 suffering major damage and 1,174 homes having minor damage.

The state government is continuing to collect reports from the public via a self-reporting process at Everyone with weather related damages is encouraged to take the survey.

Requested for a Federal Disaster Declaration

Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for the disaster on 17 May. On 28 May the governor requested a federal disaster declaration from President Joseph Biden for five parishes affected by the flash flooding in mid-May in Louisiana.

The governor’s 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. However, if additional parishes have identified damage, the Governor’s request will be amended to request these parishes.

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.

Over $60 Million for Watershed Projects Announced

Last week the governor also announced $61.6 million funding for 16 watershed projects to reduce flood risk throughout the state as part of the Watershed Projects Grant Program: Local and Regional – Round 1. The Round 1 funding opportunity is part of the state’s Action Plan to spend $1.2 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant Mitigation funds.

When announcing the new funding on 27 May the governor said, “Last week, heavy rains once again inundated flood-weary communities throughout Louisiana, underscoring our state’s increasing flood risk and urgent need for better flood risk reduction. Today, I’m heartened to announce relief is on the way.

“Through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, we are working to fight flooding on a large scale with immediate and long-term solutions. These projects move us in the right direction.”

The funding announcement follows the state’s March award of $163 million for 15 projects and programs designed to address similar mitigation needs throughout the state. Combined, the awards total $224 million awarded to 31 flood mitigation projects throughout Louisiana since the state received $1.2 billion in federal mitigation funding in September.