3 Gulf Coast states get $1.9B in HUD disaster grants

March 22, 2022 GMT

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Three Gulf Coast states are getting $1.9 billion in federal grants to help recover from hurricanes and floods over the past two years and become more resilient to climate change, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said Tuesday.

Grants totaling $1.7 billion to Louisiana, $189.5 million to Alabama and $16.6 million to Mississippi are among $3 billion nationwide aimed at both disaster recovery and building “long-term, inclusive resilience to the impacts of climate change,” HUD said in a news release.

In addition to the state grants, the cities of Lake Charles and Baton Rouge are getting more than $15 million for recovery from last spring’s floods, the agency said.


“These disaster recovery funds will strengthen recovery efforts and improve long-term, inclusive resilience to future disasters and climate impacts,” HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge said. “Communities will have greater resources and focus to ensure equitable outcomes for underserved households that too often bear the brunt of climate-related disasters.”

The block grants announced Tuesday completed $5 billion in grants authorized by Congress in 2021.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said he was grateful for the money.

“However, the need is much greater, which everyone we have spoken with in Washington acknowledges. We will continue working to secure that additional funding,” Edwards said.

Alabama’s grant will aid recovery from Hurricane Sally in September 2020 and Hurricane Zeta the following month and help to prevent future damage.

Mississippi is getting $8.2 million for Zeta and $8.4 million for 2021′s Hurricane Ida.

Louisiana is receiving $1.27 billion for recovery from Hurricane Ida and from flooding that occurred from May 17 to 21, 2021, and $450 million to continue recovery from Hurricanes Laura and Delta in 2020.

Lake Charles is getting nearly $10.8 million to help it recover from the May 2021 floods, with $4.6 million for Baton Rouge.

Including $600 million allocated last year, Louisiana has now received about $1 billion in HUD grants for recovery from Laura and Delta, which were among three hurricanes and two tropical storms to make landfall in the state in 2020 — a state record. Ida was one of two hurricanes to do so in 2021.

Edwards noted that Louisiana also is getting $40 million out of $60 million announced earlier this week to help Hurricane Ida survivors in four states. New Jersey is getting $10 million and Mississippi and Pennsylvania $5 million each. The aim is to get flood mitigation grants out quickly to residents with either substantially damaged structures or repetitively flooded properties insured under the National Flood Insurance Program.