NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Federal Emergency Management Agency recently announced more than $1.4 million in additional public assistance funding to Terrebonne Parish for repairs to Island Road.
Island Road serves as the only roadway within Terrebonne connecting Isle de Jean Charles, a Native American community, to mainland Louisiana. The asphalt road, measuring 2.6 miles long and 20 feet wide, was heavily damaged during Hurricane Ike after being battered by strong waves and an eight-foot storm surge.
"Repairs to Island Road equate to an improved quality of life for our tribe, particularly for our elders,” said Isle de Jean Charles Chief Albert Naquin. “Prior to Island Road being damaged, many relied on bus transportation to assist with their daily travels. As a result of FEMA’s support, such important services will also return, positively impacting those in our community."
Overall, including this recent grant, FEMA has provided more than $7.9 million for both temporary and permanent repairs to Island Road.
"This roadway is critical infrastructure within Terrebonne Parish, connecting communities and allowing for the travel of residents, as well as emergency support vehicles to and from the island,” said Mike McCloskey, FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Public Assistance Division Supervisor, Gustav/Ike. “FEMA continues to support the rebuilding of this essential roadway by providing federal grants that enable good construction practices during its restoration."
Such construction work funded by FEMA includes adding compacted fill to Island Road’s base and restoring and adding riprap armoring to its shoulders and adjacent embankments.
These measures will restore Island Road to its pre-disaster condition and help protect it from incurring similar damages during future storms. All work is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.
"The restoration of Island Road symbolizes the desire of the people of Louisiana and the United States to maintain the culture and heritage of those living in our coastal environment,” said Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet. “This recovery work speaks to the resolve of many to protect and save our people’s way of life in Southeast Louisiana."
To date, FEMA has provided more than $25.5 million overall in public assistance grants for Hurricane Ike-related recovery projects within Terrebonne Parish.
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.