Louisiana Provides Caravans and Other Housing for Those Without Housing After Hurricane Ida
By Rebekah Riess and Kelly McCleary, CNN
Louisiana is launching an accommodation program for those “currently living in unsafe or unsanitary conditions” due to damage from Hurricane Ida, which hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm over the years. five weeks, officials said Monday.
The Hurricane Ida Shelter Program will provide temporary housing to people in parishes heavily affected by Ida where other shelter options are not available, according to a press release from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office, which called the living conditions of some storm survivors unacceptable.
Accommodation options can include hotels, base camps, crew barges or recreational vehicles, including trailers that typically attach to an existing vehicle, the statement said. According to the governor’s office, the âno-rallyâ options aim to help reduce the risk of Covid-19 while allowing individuals and families to live as close as possible while they repair their damaged homes.
Hurricane Ida struck the coast near Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29, bringing strong and sustained winds of up to 150 mph. Hurricane-force winds spread 80 kilometers from central Ida.
The storm devastated electrical infrastructure, leaving some residents without power for weeks, and sent a potentially fatal storm surge across the low-lying region.
At least 22 people have died in Louisiana and Mississippi because of Ida’s anger, officials said.
Many parishes along the coast have reported overwhelming devastation.
In the parish of Lafourche, which includes Port Fourchon, around 14,000 people were left homeless as a result of the storm, which damaged or destroyed 75% of structures, parish president Archie Chaisson said last month.
In nearby Grand Isle, about 40 to 50 percent of homes have been destroyed, according to Bryan Adams, Jefferson Parish fire department manager.
âI’ve never seen it look like this. He’s wiped out, âAdams said after inspecting the storm ruins.
The state’s accommodation program is designed to “complement, not replace” other housing options such as trailers, hotels and mobile homes offered by FEMA, the governor’s office said, noting that although the program is funded by FEMA, it is fully state-run.
“Housing is the biggest challenge facing those affected by this devastating storm, and our state-run shelter program is a safe, creative and temporary solution to bringing more people closer to their homes during reconstruction.” Edwards said in the press release. “I am grateful to FEMA for its flexibility in working with us to purchase travel trailers as an interim solution to help survivors while other efforts, including FEMA’s work, are underway.”
The announcement comes after FEMA said last week it did not have a schedule to deliver trailers to the hardest hit areas of Ida.
âFEMA officials are working with parish governments to determine how many mobile homes will be sent to Terrebonne and Lafourche. No timetable has been set, âsaid Debra Young, FEMA deputy head of external affairs, on Thursday.
FEMA provided $ 670 million in grants directly to survivors in Louisiana for needs not covered by insurance, Young said. FEMA is also providing money to meet short-term housing needs through measures such as rent assistance to help people move and repair their homes. Young said FEMA paid for hotel stays for more than 3,200 households, specifically in the parishes of Terrebonne and Lafourche.
According to Young, the US Small Business Administration approved $ 251.5 million in home disaster loans to 5,435 homeowners and tenants.
âIn the parish of Terrebonne, FEMA has provided more than $ 67.2 million in grants to 29,293 landlords and tenants. In Lafourche Parish, FEMA has provided more than $ 52.5 million in grants to 24,077 homeowners and tenants, âshe said.
Those whose homes have been destroyed or are currently unlivable can begin enrolling in the state program by visiting www.Idashelteringla.com or calling (844) 268-0301, the governor’s office said.
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CNN’s Gregory Lemos contributed to this report.