Disasters happen when you least expect them. People always tend to think that things like that don’t happen to them – that they’re the lucky ones. Unfortunately, when it comes to Mother Nature and who she decided to target, nobody’s a lucky a one. Most people have to learn that the hard way.
Although they do normally happen when you least expect them, they also happen frequently when we do expect them. Those times are the times that hurt the worst. Sometimes, even when you expect a disaster, you simply can’t stop it, and no amount of preventative measure can reduce the damage.
Floods are some of the most destructive natural disasters out there – falling just behind tornadoes, and the damage they cause is undeniably noteworthy. Floods harm the environment, the economy, and sometimes even take lives – whether they be human or animal. The live videos of people waiting for rescue atop the roofs of their houses shows the impact floods can have.
Luckily, although the damage from floods is unavoidable, there are organizations designed with the sole purpose of helping in these situations. The Restore Louisiana Task Force was created in 2016 by Governor John Bel Edwards to oversee recovery after the tragic floods that hit Louisiana that year. The Louisiana floods in March and August of 2016 were seen as historic – labeled as “the country’s worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy”.
The Restore Louisiana Task Force’s overall purpose is to aid in the recovery after the Louisiana floods in March and August of 2016. Their more specific purposes are as follows:
The floods that affected Louisiana in March and August of 2016 were labelled historic and the worst natural disaster in the country since Hurricane Sandy, according to the Red Cross. Both floods started after a substantial amount of rain fell – over two feet both times, making water rise and spread east and south. The floods in August left over 40,000 homes damaged and at least 13 people dead.
On June 9 of this year, 2017, the Restore Louisiana Task Force made a unanimous decision to approve a resolution that recommends Governor John Bel Edwards to allocate $51 million to further recovery from the 2016 floods. The $51 million includes $37.5 million that will go toward the Homeowner Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Program, $4.2 million toward rental housing programs and $9.8 million to go to watershed planning in those communities most heavily affected by the floods.
This will be the third federal allocation since the flood in August of 2016. Even with this third allocation, however, the Task Force is still under half of its necessary budget. The recovery program of the state gives $1.3 billion to homeowner assistance, $134.2 million for rental programs and $43 million for small business assistance. The total allocated amount of approximately $1.7 billion is still less than half of the total budget the state has acknowledged as necessary to meet recovery needs.
Even with being granted less funds than what has been stated as necessary, the Restore Louisiana Task Force still has a plan of minimum priorities that will be met to further recovery from the floods. This plan includes actions such as:
The Task Force has provided the notes from their meeting on June 9 for public viewing. These notes detail various updates on the recovery programs.
Starting June 12, homeowner assistance centers were opened in various affected areas. These centers were opened with the purpose of helping families complete the initial flood surveys to qualify for assistance in recovery.
The Restore Louisiana Task Force has already done so much for the flood victims with the little resources they have been provided to work with. Moving forward, the help can only continue to increase with future allocations. Natural disasters like these require a lot of time to recover from as so many people are affected in so many different ways.
As its sole purpose for having been created, the Task Force will continue to work on rebuilding the community and further assisting recovery. Although the mind will never forget, with time, the community will have recovered and those affected will be able to return to normal living.