One Year Later: $5 Billion Assists Louisiana Flood Recovery

One year ago torrential rains devastated Louisiana communities and tens of thousands of homes and businesses. A presidential disaster declaration made federal help available to individuals and businesses in 22 parishes and local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits in 26 parishes.

Disaster Recovery Summary:

  • $5 billion in federal disaster assistance, low-interest disaster loans and National Flood Insurance Program payments have flowed to Louisiana for recovery and rebuilding.
  • More than 83,000 households have been eligible for FEMA disaster help.
  • FEMA has approved about $772 million to help survivors. Of that:
  • Survivors have received about $146 million—an average $2,200 per household—to pay for somewhere to stay if their home was uninhabitable.
    • Survivors have received $458 million—an average $13,100 per household—for home repairs to make them habitable and nearly $164 million—an average $3,800 per household—to replace household items and for other essential needs.
    • More than $2.4 million in disaster unemployment assistance has gone to certain workers whose employment was affected by the flood.
    • The Transitional Sheltering Assistance program sheltered 4,300 households in 401 hotels.
  • About 1,200 households have moved out of Manufactured Housing Units and into long-term housing. The state requested MHUs for some survivors—about 4,600 households received them—who were unable to find temporary housing.
    • About 70 percent of remaining families are on schedule with permanent housing plans.
    • FEMA’s Multi-Family Lease and Repair program has funded repairs to 132 rental units for flood survivors.
    • $1.3 billion in loans has been approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration for 17,580 homeowners, renters and businesses and businesses affected by the flood.
    • FEMA has obligated about $436 million to the state to reimburse local and state government agencies and certain private nonprofits for eligible emergency response activities and infrastructure projects.
      • The amount includes $90 million for temporary facilities and to clean flood debris at schools.
      • The state and FEMA have worked with more than 280 applicants in 26 parishes to develop specifications and costs for eligible recovery projects.
      • FEMA typically reimburses 75 percent of eligible disaster-related expenses. However, applicants will be reimbursed 90 percent of eligible expenses given the magnitude of the flood.
    • More than 29,600 claims have been submitted to the National Flood Insurance Program with more than $2.4 billion paid out to survivors. Policyholders have received an average payment of $88,300.

Recovery through Partnerships

The state, volunteer agencies, FEMA and other federal recovery partners have coordinated solutions to overcome many recovery challenges after the August flood:

  • 300 volunteer groups coordinate with FEMA to provide resources for unmet needs. Volunteer groups are crucial parts of recovery because federal disaster assistance alone cannot make survivors whole again.
  • 19 affected Louisiana communities have long-term recovery committees comprised of nonprofit groups and FEMA liaisons to create recovery solutions and fill in gaps.
  • Three faith-based groups have agreements with FEMA for 181 case managers to work directly with survivors on recovery plans and matching needs to available resources.
  • The state’s Shelter at Home program provided $26 million in FEMA funds for emergency repairs to homes.
  • Restore Louisiana’s Homeowners Assistance Program is providing U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds to help homeowners with repairs.
  • The Louisiana Housing Corporation is offering HUD funds to eligible developers and landlords to increase affordable housing in affected areas.
  • The state requested FEMA to initiate the Watershed Resiliency Study. Data will be used to determine ways to manage areas where rivers drain—watersheds—and prevent or reduce infrastructure damage.
  • More than 200 private sector entities in Louisiana coordinated with FEMA to provide helpful information to more than 625,000 people. This help included how to apply for FEMA help and tips on rebuilding safer, stronger and smarter.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans
cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may
call 800-877-8339.