Obama signs disaster declaration for Jeff Davis, Vermillion parishes

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Town of Lake Arthur and surrounding areas will be getting some federal help to recover from the flooding that hit in the early part of the year.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration for Louisiana to authorize federal aid for areas affected by severe storms and flooding in January.

Those areas include Jeff Davis and Vermillion parishes. The severe weather began on Jan. 8 and continued until Jan. 17 with extended periods of torrential downpours followed by flooding.

Gov. Bobby Jindal asked Obama for a disaster declaration last week and said the preliminary damage assessments is more than $6.5 million.

The White House statement said the declaration of a major disaster makes federal funding available to state and local governments and certain private nonprofit groups on a cost-sharing basis.

The funds will pay for emergency response work and repairs to facilities damaged in the parishes of Acadia, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Madison, St. Landry, and Vermilion.

Federal funds also are available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.