Gov. John Bel Edwards has requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration due to the severe impact from Hurricane Ida, which slammed into the coast of Louisiana on Sunday in Port Fourchon as a Category 4 storm with 155 mile per hour winds. Within a few hours of making landfall, and with the storm still impacting Louisiana, thousands of people were already without power. Surge and damaging winds are impacting areas along the coast and will continue to impact areas further inland through Monday.
“Hurricane Ida is one of the strongest storms to ever hit Louisiana. It is our goal to assist our local agencies and the citizens of the state as quickly as possible, and we have pre-positioned search and rescue teams, boats and other assets to begin helping people as soon as it is safe. This major disaster declaration will help Louisiana better respond to this crisis and protect the health and safety of our people, and I hope the White House will act quickly so we can begin getting additional aid and assistance to our people,” Gov. Edwards said. “President Biden and FEMA have worked with us on the response in the days leading up to the storm making landfall. It is important that we, once again, roll up our sleeves and continue a coordinated response and recovery. I am confident that working with our federal and local partners we can get the job done and overcome the latest challenge to the state.”
Gov. Edwards is requesting Individual Assistance as well as Critical Needs Assistance for the parishes initially dealing with storms impact. Many households in the requested areas are or will be displaced from their primary residence for an extended period of time. He also requests Public Assistance Category A, Debris Removal and Categories C through G for infrastructure damage in the state.
Additionally, Gov. Edwards requests Public Assistance, Category B, related to emergency protective actions, shelter and temporary housing costs. To better assist local areas recover from Hurricane Ida, the state is asking that the federal cost share for both Category A and B work be increased to 100% for 30 days. Finally, Gov. Edwards requested Hazard Mitigation statewide.
On Friday, President Biden approved the Governor’s request for a Federal Declaration of Emergency prior to the storm making landfall. A Major Disaster Declaration will open up additional assistance to the state.
Louisiana continues its response to the latest COVID surge while also continuing recovery efforts related to the 2020 hurricanes, including Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta.