Yesterday, Gov. John Bel Edwards sent a letter to Pres. Donald J. Trump requesting a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Louisiana due to the impact of Hurricane Barry last month. Barry made landfall July 13, 2019, near Intracoastal City with maximum sustained winds of 71 mph and gusts up to 85 mph. 

The hurricane triggered extensive rainfall, flash flooding and multiple tornadoes. In addition to Barry's landfall, the state was already dealing with months of elevated river levels and continuous river flood fighting before the hurricane threatened the state.

“Federal assistance is necessary to supplement the efforts of our local and state agencies,” said Gov. Edwards. "While the state was ready for this dangerous system, the costs to the state and our local governments, disaster relief organizations and compensation by insurance for disaster related losses are a tremendous burden. We are optimistic President Trump and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will understand why this request is necessary.”

The request for a Major Disaster Declaration will provide assistance for activities involved in protection of life and property, removal of debris and the repair, restoration and replacement of damaged facilities.

The process for requesting a major disaster declaration requires a more detailed assessment of impacts and costs incurred in all of the parishes included in the request than the emergency declaration issued by President Trump during the event.

Gov. Edwards is requesting Public Assistance in (Categories A-B) for Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Jefferson, Orleans, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. John the Baptist, Tangipahoa and West Feliciana parishes. Categories A and B involve debris removal and emergency protective measures.

Additionally, Gov. Edwards is requesting Public Assistance in (Categories A-G) for Allen, Iberia, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Mary, Terrebonne and Vermilion parishes. Categories A-G involve debris removal, emergency  protective measures and permanent work on infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water control facilities, buildings, equipment, utilities and parks.

The governor also requests Hazard Mitigation statewide. 

Hazard Mitigation (HM) funding is generally 15% of the total amount of Federal assistance provided to a state, territory or federally-recognized tribe following a major disaster declaration. HM is any action taken to reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property from natural disasters.

Additional parishes may be added once the full assessment process is completed. 

Click here to read Gov. Edwards' letter to President Trump.