One year after Hurricane Laura, Biden commits to sending recovery aid to SWLA

Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 11:59 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Just over a year after Southwest Louisiana was battered by Hurricane Laura, beginning a devastating series of natural disasters in the area, President Joe Biden committed to sending federal funding to aid the community’s long-term recovery.

“I have put in a request in the budget to provide for help for recovery for Lake Charles as a consequence of Laura and Delta,” Biden said Friday during his visit to LaPlace, La. in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and other local officials have been pleading with the federal government to grant Southwest Louisiana this supplemental disaster aid, some feeling that they were “beating a dead horse.”

In July, Sen. John Kennedy attempted to allot over $1 billion to rebuild Southwest Louisiana, but his bill was denied approval.

In the meantime, Southwest Louisiana’s infrastructure, homes and businesses remain damaged as the area takes blow after blow.

The federal aid requested by President Biden is known as Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery, or CDBG-DR. This is a program of the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development that provides additional funding for long-term disaster recovery needs unmet by other federal sources.

“President Biden’s remarks and direct public commitment to supplemental disaster recovery aid for our area is a gigantic leap forward towards an equitable federal response for our community in the wake of four federally declared natural disasters in less than one year’s timeframe,” Mayor Hunter said. “We will now need Congress to put partisan politics aside and do the right thing for American citizens in need.”

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