NEW ORLEANS -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today that more than $1.3 million will assist Terrebonne Parish in rebuilding a fire station after it suffered damages caused by Hurricane Ike.
The Bayou Dularge Fire Department will use the FEMA grant to construct a new facility that will replace Fire Station No. 3 in Theriot, La. This money originally was a grant to replace the destroyed building, but FEMA worked with the fire department to develop an alternate project that allowed these federal dollars to be spent on a building the fire department believed to be more practical.
An Ike-related storm surge destroyed a steel bulkhead, built to protect the station from flooding, and water permeated the building. While the Bayou Dularge Fire Department was eligible to have the bulkhead replaced, they thought it would be wiser to build the fire station in a different location to mitigate against future flood damage. FEMA approved the alternate project request, which permitted eligible funding to be diverted toward constructing a new facility.
“An alternate project like this one reaffirms FEMA’s commitment to working closely with applicants to find innovative solutions to rebuild smarter and stronger for the future,” said FEMA’s Acting Executive Director of the Louisiana Recovery Office Joe Threat. “The Bayou Dularge Fire Department will be able to serve its community even better with the help of these alternate project FEMA funds.”
Fire Station No. 3, which will be located about a half mile away from the old facility, should be completed by April 2011. Construction is currently underway.
“Without this FEMA money, we couldn’t move,” Quint Liner, Bayou Dularge Fire Department chief, said.
FEMA has obligated more than $1.8 million to the Bayou Dularge Fire Department for damages sustained during hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance grant, the funds are made available to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness, who disburses them to the applicant for eligible work completed.
The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private nonprofit organizations’ buildings, as well as roads, bridges and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful, federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund these projects and oversee their completion.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.