Ag Commissioner wants natural disaster designation - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Ag Commissioner wants natural disaster designation

The following is a news release from the Louisiana Dept. of Agriculture & Forestry

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is urging the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Risk Management to categorize the opening of the Morganza Spillway as a natural disaster.

"I am asserting that the flood waters will overtop the Morganza floodgates regardless of whether the spillway is opened or not," Strain said. "Failure to open the spillway will result in potential damage to that structure which could result in more severe flooding. The Morganza Spillway will flood either way so therefore flooding from the opening of the spillway should be classified as a natural disaster."

Strain sent a letter to the Louisiana congressional delegation on May 10 asking for their support to have the natural disaster designation applied to the opening of the Morganza Spillway.

 Strain's request to the delegation reads as follows: "At this point, we are uncertain that the Office of Risk Management (ORM) is categorizing this event as a natural disaster. A manmade designation would not allow producers to make crop insurance claims. The ORM is currently requesting information to make the determination of a manmade versus natural disaster. We must continue to make the ORM aware that the purpose of opening the water control structure is for diversion of floodwaters to the Atchafalaya River. The rising water will overtake the control structure regardless of any opening or diversion."

Strain said more than 18,000 acres of crops within the Morganza Spillway in the fore bay and tail bay will be inundated and lost for the current season. Cotton, soybean, rice, sugarcane, corn, wheat, sorghum, aquaculture and hay crops are among the commodities that are grown in the Morganza Spillway and Atchafalaya Basin.

Strain said he is hopeful that the ORM will designate the opening of the Morganza Spillway and subsequent flooding of the Atchafalaya Basin as a natural disaster.

"The ORM is currently requesting information for consideration in making the determination of a manmade or natural disaster," Strain said. "We are working closely with the USDA and their ORM to provide them with the most accurate data available, but a favorable decision is critical for the agricultural producers in the area that will suffer huge losses due to the floodwaters."

More information on how the flooding will affect agriculture in Louisiana may be found at www.LDAF.la.gov and clicking on the "Spring Flood 2011" link on the home page.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • President-elect Burckel optimistic about future for McNeese

    President-elect Burckel optimistic about future for McNeese

    Thursday, May 25 2017 9:51 PM EDT2017-05-26 01:51:35 GMT
    (Source: KPLC)(Source: KPLC)

    With colleges and universities constantly bracing for more cuts, it seems like a less than ideal time to become head of a university. But McNeese President-elect Daryl Burckel says he sees a future filled with opportunity. Burckel spoke to a local civic club, where he discussed increasingly decreased funding. Burckel says over the last seven years or so state funding has gone from $28 million to roughly $16 million. He says the University ...

    More >>

    With colleges and universities constantly bracing for more cuts, it seems like a less than ideal time to become head of a university. But McNeese President-elect Daryl Burckel says he sees a future filled with opportunity. Burckel spoke to a local civic club, where he discussed increasingly decreased funding. Burckel says over the last seven years or so state funding has gone from $28 million to roughly $16 million. He says the University ...

    More >>
  • High demand for healthcare jobs

    High demand for healthcare jobs

    Thursday, May 25 2017 2:36 PM EDT2017-05-25 18:36:12 GMT
    HealthWORx is a new initiative aimed at connecting qualified people with in-demand healthcare jobs. (Source: KPLC)HealthWORx is a new initiative aimed at connecting qualified people with in-demand healthcare jobs. (Source: KPLC)

    HealthWORx is a new initiative aimed at connecting qualified people with hundreds of local healthcare-related jobs in Southwest Louisiana. 

    More >>

    HealthWORx is a new initiative aimed at connecting qualified people with hundreds of local healthcare-related jobs in Southwest Louisiana. 

    More >>
  • Glad Tidings Church honors fallen state trooper

    Glad Tidings Church honors fallen state trooper

    Thursday, May 25 2017 8:59 PM EDT2017-05-26 00:59:57 GMT

    It's been almost five months since the death of Sgt. Tracy Morgan, who served as a crisis negotiator for Louisiana State Police for more than 20 years. 

    Morgan died in January after collapsing from a heart attack while on duty. Morgan was a member of Glad Tidings church in Lake Charles and is described as not only a great state trooper, but an even greater man. 

    More >>

    It's been almost five months since the death of Sgt. Tracy Morgan, who served as a crisis negotiator for Louisiana State Police for more than 20 years. 

    Morgan died in January after collapsing from a heart attack while on duty. Morgan was a member of Glad Tidings church in Lake Charles and is described as not only a great state trooper, but an even greater man. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly