Calcasieu gets $3.3M grant from FEMA
Money will be used to elevate homes to prevent future flood damage
The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury will receive $3.36 million in FEMA hazard mitigation grant money that will pay for acquiring and elevating several homes to prevent future flood damages.
Jennifer Cobian, senior finance analyst for the Police Jury’s Planning and Development department, said the money will impact more than a dozen properties parishwide. Starting early next year, the parish will either elevate homes or acquire property and demolish homes to keep the space open.
The grant funding is appropriated each year as part of an effort by the National Flood Insurance Program to reduce future flood losses. Cobian said the parish has received roughly $2 million to $3 million annually for the last several years.
Cobian said the money helps out homeowners who have experienced repeated flooding, including those not located near a waterway. She said affected residents are often eager to apply for the assistance.
“A lot of times we are buying these homes in the middle of town because they are the lowest house in the neighborhood and people built up around them,” she said. “With this funding, they can relocate to an area with less flood risk.”
Homes that meet the criteria for assistance are identified by FEMA as having experienced repetitive loss or severe repetitive loss.
U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre, said in a statement that his office is focused on managing water systems and reducing the severity of floods.
“Pre-disaster mitigation investments like this make our communities more resilient and can save taxpayers billions in recovery costs,” he said.