Skip to comments.FEMA asks Louisiana for $3.7 billion (& ends $2,000 aid program, angering Rita victims)
Posted on 11/04/2005 9:02:43 PM PST by Libloather
FEMA asks Louisiana for $3.7 billion
By BRETT TROXLER
From a report by News 2's Tony Jones firstname.lastname@example.org
The federal government is asking Louisiana to come up with more than $3.7 billion. According to FEMA, the amount is a down payment for what the state owes for its share of hurricane relief.
Denise Bottcher, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kathleen Blanco, said the state just can't come up with that kind of money. Bottcher said when members of the governor's staff first heard the request, they "just about fell over."
Louisiana is already facing a $1 billion budget shortfall due to the damage created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The agency estimates it will spend more than $41 billion on hurricane relief in Louisiana, which comes out to about $9,000 per resident. FEMA is obligated by law to ask for the money, which is roughly 9 percent of the total cost.
The amount requested is just under half of the state's annual $8 billion budget. In order to forgive Louisiana's debt, Congress would have to enact legislation.
LAKE CHARLES, La. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has stopped providing two-thousand dollar checks to Hurricane Rita victims, triggering angry reactions from elected officials and residents who said the assistance was promised by President Bush.
The checks -- part of a program called "expedited assistance" -- were discontinued because they was designed as emergency payments to help victims immediately after the September 24th storm.
Coast Guard Vice Admiral Thad Allen wrote in a letter to Calcasieu Parish Police Jury president Hal McMillin that he would make sure people who qualified would get the money.
McMillin says about ten thousand people in his parish alone qualified for the checks but have been rejected for various reasons.
U-S Representative Charles Boustany sent a letter today to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who oversees FEMA, asking that the check program start up again.
Parish officials say they were repeatedly told by FEMA that every household within the mandatory evacuation area qualified for the assistance. But, now they say the agency has been imposing additional eligibility requirements for the checks -- despite initial promises to the contrary.
"Parish officials say "
Unless it is in writing, no way I trust LA officials about what they say they were told.
When this is all over, FEMA will be forced to have two sets of rules, those for states with Governors that can walk and chew gum at the same time and those for idiots as Governors (read Louisiana)
Blando: "But we have Softball fields to build and museum parking lots to pave!!!"
They probably have to buy new buses because the others were under water so long! You know, the buses that could have driven people to safety that they left parked!
And they have to build an equestrian center too!
The PRESIDENT said that everyone who was under mandatory evacuation was eligible. I watched it myself. He had that ticked off look in his eyes that I said "thank GOD I'm not the one he's pissed off with". Lake Charles mayor Randy Roach then came on after the POTUS' press conference and said that the details were hammered out with FEMA at 10pm the night before about a week and a half after the storm. People in the mandatory evacuation area were not allowed to return home for almost a month.
FEMA is good at saying one thing and then doing another with constant indecision. I think the constant confusion is job security. It's also wasted money. Figure out what the policy is and stick with it. If they aren't really going to help then stop jacking people around who have lost everything.
Southwest Louisiana isn't like NOLA. We actually have competent leadership here who isn't corrupt to the bone. They did a superb job before, during, and after the storm.
Jimmie Kahtah's FEMA! Another bloated chunk of bureaucracy, like the EPA, that needs to be chopped.
"Southwest Louisiana isn't like NOLA. We actually have competent leadership here who isn't corrupt to the bone"
No they just learned from NOLA leaders mistakes.
FEMA IS THE REAL EMENY! I'm still waiting for them to fix the errors on my application they made when they took my information.
You in denial? The LA governor still belongs to you.
Was trying not mention that point. Might make it harder to sleep.
LOL. Sorry about that.
No, they were and are prepared because they are competent. They had a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Lili in 2002 and it was successful then, there were a few kinks that they discovered and they addressed them. This isn't the first storm that we have encountered.
Back in 1957 Hurricane Audrey was a cat 4 storm that slammed Cameron Parish except the people were told by the National Weather Service to go to bed and get a good night's sleep before leaving because they had plenty of time to get out, well the storm sped up and made landfall 12 hours earlier than planned killing over 600 people. Ever since then the people of SWLA don't play around with hurricanes. They leave.
No I'm not in denial. The local officals have a few more smarts in handling crisis situations, and approached the PTB in a way that got the job done. The evacuation plan works when it is used. We used ours.
If only those who actually qualified had received the payments, there should have been enough for everyone. But, as usual, the freeloaders and thieves got to the government trough first, and there isn't enough slop to go around. The feds should have the moxie to say to those whiners in LA that there will be no more money spent in that state until a payment schedule is in place for their share of the cleanup...3.7 BILLION dollars. It's not the nation's fault they were too incompetent to mind the levees and keep the pump operators on the job, so that 90% of the damage was self-inflicted incompetence.
...and since they chose to come back, they should pay to rebuild their own back yard. It isn't the gum'ts responsibility.
I don't think most Americans want to pay for y'all to rebuild, for people to live in swamps, or other low-lying areas. Anyone that chooses to live there, deserves what they get. Sorry, no bleeding heart, here.
I'm from the coast of NC. We know how to build and prepare forhurricanes. What's your excuse?
Most of those people work in the oil industry. It is in the government's best industry to at least let the people rebuild in certain areas. The plant my brother works in processes heating fuel, all but 4 employees lost their homes, but they aren't bitching about things, they are working their butts off to get the plants up and running before winter. They also work in refineries so you can have your gas cheaper etc.
The truth is that the nation's need for oil and gas caused a lot of the problems because of all the shipping channels cut through the swamps that allowed the salt water intrusion and coastal erosion to speed up. The loss of the swamps is why the storm surge was so bad. In that sense, it is a national security job because the good lord knows that Florida won't allow any offshore drilling. It might mess up their beaches, which the people are allowed to rebuild on time and time again.
I can find some places to build refineries, that will not be effected by storms. I'd bet that they can, as well.
As for working their butts off, I'd also wager a bet. I'll bet they are getting paid for it. I'll even bet they get overtime, and benefits.
The nations need for oil did not create these problems. Swamps are wet, whether or not you have storms. You should not build there.
I feel sorry for most personal loss. I feel little sorrow when that loss is by choice. If you live next to a freeway, you expect to hear traffic noise. If you live in a swamp, you can expect floods, when the water rises...
I think you should be able to build wherever you wish. I think you should be responsible for it, yourself. But, maybe I am just a lowly taxpayer, who has to pay the bills, and looking at it from a different perspective.
Hello is this on the people of Louisiana pay taxs too your U.S. is mine too. We bombed other country then paid to rebuild that's waste. Rebuilding a city that's been major port for a long time which is part of the United States is not.