JEFFERSON PARISH, La. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) recently announced a $7.2 million grant to fund an elevation project that will raise 40 homes in Jefferson Parish.
In 2009, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) ranked Jefferson Parish as one of the country's top three leading parishes in repetitive loss properties. The 40 Jefferson homes included in this elevation project are on NFIP's repetitive loss list, meaning that if mitigation measures are not taken to protect these properties, they are likely to flood again in the future.
"Louisiana is executing the largest mitigation program in the country, and Jefferson Parish is leading this effort," said LRA Executive Director Paul Rainwater. "We are grateful for the hard work of Parish President Aaron Broussard and our other partners on this project, which makes sense financially and is the right thing to do for the citizens of Jefferson Parish."
Elevating these Jefferson Parish structures to the Advisory Base Flood Elevation or the current Base Flood Elevation significantly reduces their potential for future flooding. In addition, because their flood risk will lessen as a result of their elevation, this project can also potentially reduce the number of overall NFIP claims related to future flooding in Jefferson Parish.
"Hazard Mitigation is a logical action to prevent future flood losses and Jefferson Parish has been fortunate to obtain the necessary funding through FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and other FEMA non-disaster mitigation programs (i.e. Flood Mitigation Assistance, Severe Repetitive Loss, and Pre-Disaster Mitigation). This will make an impact for years to come for our citizens that take a proactive approach and utilize the availability of these programs," said Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard.
Furthermore, a December 2005 congressionally mandated study conducted for FEMA revealed that mitigation saves society an average of $4 for every dollar spent. Applying this finding to FEMA's recent mitigation funding to elevate 40 homes in Jefferson Parish translates into a potential savings of more than $28.8 million in the event of a future storm.
"The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps communities rebuild stronger after a disaster," said FEMA's Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Acting Director Tony Russell. "This elevation project in Jefferson Parish is a perfect example of what our mitigation program aims to accomplish - rebuilding from past disasters in a way that better protects properties against future disasters."
While other mitigation alternatives were considered, this elevation project, expected to be completed in approximately 3 years, was deemed the most feasible mitigation option. Once the structures are elevated, individual homeowners will be required to maintain flood insurance on their newly elevated homes for the life of the properties.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.
Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005, the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before. For more informa...