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Mayor says ‘humanitarian crisis’ demands supplemental disaster aid

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:43 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Lake Area leaders have been crying to Washington for help, but according to Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter, they’re not getting the response needed.

The mayor says this area is being treated unfairly when compared to other areas after major disasters, including Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Superstorm Sandy.

Officials at all levels of government in Louisiana seem to be fighting to get the area supplemental disaster aid. But some, like U.S. Senator Rand Paul, of Kentucky, objected.

“So, I object to this, because we’re $28 trillion in debt. We don’t have any money, and we should be fiscally conservative as we profess to be,” Paul said.

Paul’s vote to object last week stopped the bill from being on the fast track.

“My reaction to Senator Paul was, ‘Wow, come visit my community and see what you just voted against,’” Hunter said.

Hunter says supplemental disaster aid is desperately needed for housing in the Lake Area.

“The top priority, and what I will continue to fight for until I have no more breath in my body, is housing. Housing is our number one need. We need to help people reestablish housing in this community,” Mayor Hunter said.

Hunter says if the money does not come from Washington, it creates uncertainty about how fully the area will be able to recover.

“I’m talking about people. I’m talking about citizens. I’m talking about low to moderate-income people within this community. I’m talking about elderly people on fixed incomes that are trying to put roofs back on their homes,” Mayor Hunter said.

Hunter says the area needs something like the Road Home Program after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“We have no such program right now in the aftermath of more natural disasters than any other city in American history,” Mayor Hunter said.

Hunter says the housing need alone for the City of Lake Charles is $235 million.

“I certainly think it’s an emergency. I think it’s a humanitarian crisis within our own borders, and I wish D.C. Would see that,” Hunter said.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, a grassroots effort is being launched by the mayor and other local officials to let Washington know, in the mayor’s words, “We’re tired.”

KPLC will live stream the announcement on our website and Facebook page.

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