St. Tammany gets $3.7 million from FEMA
FEMA has awarded St. Tammany Parish government $3.7 million to protect people and property from natural disasters. The funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s hazard mitigation grant program comes as result of the spring 2016 flooding.
Parish officials said they will evaluate existing risks and vulnerabilities and use St. Tammany’s mitigation plan to determine the best use of the money. “The project, or projects, that will be funded through this dedicated grant will join a long list of hazard mitigation work we have completed or that is already underway,” Parish President Pat Brister said. “Whether its marsh restoration, drainage improvements or any number of large infrastructure projects that can help protect our citizens, we remain committed to the prevention of loss of life or property at the hands of a disaster.”
The March flooding damaged at least 718 structures in St. Tammany. Most of the damage was found on the west side of the parish where the Bogue Falaya River exceeded record levels in the Covington area, the parish government has said (NOLA.com).
Gov. John Bel Edwards said the state will receive about $26 million from FEMA’s hazard mitigation grant program. “Over the last year, 56 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have received disaster declarations due to flooding,” Edwards said. “The March floods stretched from north to south Louisiana and caused massive destruction to homes and businesses (NOLA.com).
“After recovery, preventing future floods should be our top priority. These resources will help our communities continue to rebuild stronger than ever, and I will continue to work with our congressional delegation to secure additional funding that we can use to prevent future disasters (NOLA.com).”
The recent floods on the north shore impacted 718 structures in St. Tammany Parish, with most of the damage occurring on the western side of the parish where the Bogue Falaya River set records in the Covington area, the parish government said Tuesday (March 22). Assessment teams have identified 673 damaged homes and buildings in western St. Tammany and 45 damaged structures on the eastern side of the parish (NOLA.com).
Heavy rain in St. Tammany and areas north of the parish caused rivers to rise to record-setting or near-record levels on March 11 and 12. The Bogue Falaya River set record marks of 20.07 feet at Boston Street in Covington and 62.50 feet at Camp Covington north of the city, according to the National Weather Service. The river and its tributaries swamped parts of downtown Covington and many areas to the north (NOLA.com).
Authorities’ attention then turned to the eastern side of the parish, where the Bogue Chitto River near Bush crested at a record 21.36 feet and the West Pearl River was forecast to equal its record high level of 21 feet at the town of Pearl River. The Pearl fell just short of its record mark, but the high water flooded areas of Pearl River and some residential areas east of Military Road near Slidell and lingered for days before receding (NOLA.com).
A FEMA Disaster Recovery Center opened Monday on the first floor of the parish government’s Towers Administrative Building, 520 Old Spanish Trail in Slidell. A second location on the western side of the parish is expected to open soon (NOLA.com).
Citizens can register for federal assistance with FEMA at the center and receive information and assistance on other disaster relief resources available from federal, state and non-governmental organizations (NOLA.com).
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