Today, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA) sent a letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal urging him to extend his request for individual assistance to include Orleans and St. Charles parishes. The request was made in response to the Governor's recent request for Public Assistance from the federal government which was quickly approved for a majority of Louisiana parishes.
Congressman Richmond released the following letter:
August 31, 2012
The Honorable Bobby Jindal
State of Louisiana
PO Box 94004
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
Dear Governor Jindal:
Thank you for the work you have done to ensure Louisianans were prepared and can adequately respond to Hurricane Isaac. The storm wreaked a considerable amount of havoc on communities throughout our state. I have been heartened by your actions, including your recent request for individual assistance for Plaquemines, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Tammany parishes, and the federal government's quick response and flexibility. I am writing to urge you to extend your request for individual assistance to include Orleans and St. Charles parishes. It is also my belief that once assessments are complete, Ascension, Assumption, St. James, Lafourche, and Terrebonne parishes should be included on that list.
I have seen firsthand the severe flooding and damage that Isaac has imposed on my fellow Louisianans, including those in places like Plaquemines Parish and LaPlace. What makes their situation direr is that many of these people have only recently rebuilt their lives after Hurricane Katrina, which as you know struck the Gulf Coast almost seven years ago to the day. Hurricane Isaac unleashed powerful winds and rains causing many areas to flood. Now many of these communities are underwater, causing real damage to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure.
Plaquemines, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Tammany parishes certainly bore the brunt of the devastation as your request for individual assistance reflects. However, major damage was done to homes and businesses in a number of other parishes as well, including Orleans and St. Charles parishes. Your request for Public Assistance from the federal government was quickly approved for a majority of Louisiana parishes. Additionally, your request for individual assistance for Plaquemines, Jefferson, Saint Bernard, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Tammany parishes was quickly granted by FEMA. I am certain a request for individual assistance for additional parishes will be similarly received. The fact of the matter is that the sooner the request is made, the sooner it is considered, and the sooner our citizens can be made whole.
Again, I urge you to request individual assistance for our citizens in Orleans and St. Charles parishes as soon as possible. Thank you for all of your efforts thus far. As I have said many times before, Louisianans are a resilient people. Our legacy is not defined by the severity of disasters, but by how we continue to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and rebuild. I look forward to continuing to working with you to help Louisiana rebound from this difficult time.
Cedric L. Richmond
Member of Congress