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Hurricane Rita: Eight Years of Recovery and Federal Aid

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Release date: 
September 23, 2013
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NEW ORLEANS – As Louisianans reflect on their rebuilding accomplishments since Hurricane Rita’s devastating blow on Sept. 24, 2005, the Federal Emergency Management Agency continues to aid in the state’s restoration, supported by more than $1.3 billion in federal grants.

“Communities in southwest Louisiana have overcome amazing odds to rebuild their towns following Hurricane Rita’s destruction. Today, swaths of land once cleared of everything but pilings now house state-of-the-art schools, libraries and government buildings,” said FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Director Mike Womack.

For these communities, FEMA has provided nearly $668.8 million in public assistance grants for initial projects such as debris removal and emergency protective measures and later grants to repair or rebuild public facilities damaged by Hurricane Rita. Of this funding, $216.5 million was provided for recovery work in Cameron Parish and $122.1 million for work in Calcasieu Parish.

For a photo essay of some of the permanent work projects in these two parishes, visit  These facilities, along with many others, tell their own accounts of recovery progress.

In addition, more than 175,000 households throughout Louisiana received $523.5 million in funding under FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program for their own personal recovery efforts from Hurricane Rita, including $417.7 million in housing assistance for rent, repairs and replacement housing and $105.8 million in other needs assistance for such things as furniture, clothing and replacement vehicles.

FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program also set aside $137.9 million to help prevent future losses of lives and properties. The grants help communities rebuild stronger and smarter by providing funding for projects such as elevations, acquisitions, pilot reconstructions and retrofitting.

For more information about Louisiana’s recovery from both hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to view the 8th Year Photo Essay, visit

All data is as of Sept. 18, 2013.                                                                                                                                                                   

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.

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Last Updated: 
September 23, 2013 - 14:27
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