So, what does that mean for Vermilion Parish residents who are applying for $8 million given to the parish to help those who were flooded for Hurricane Ike or Gustav?
According to Police Jury President Wayne Touchet, it should not affect the money the parish is getting from FEMA.
The federal government awarded the state of Louisiana money to help residents elevate or be reimbursed for elevating their homes that were flooded for Hurricane Ike or Gustav.
Touchet said the $8 million should be in a bank in Baton Rouge, based on the paper work the Police Jury has received.
Rep. Simone Champagne backed up Touchet’s answer by saying the $8 million has been allocated to the parish, and she is “confident” the parish will not lose it.
A private company, Providence, was hired by the state to oversee the distribution of the funds. For the last month, some 400 parish residents who flooded for the two hurricanes, have been tuning in paper work to apply for the funds.
It could take another three months before residents receive any money from the $8 million elevation program.
In the meantime, FEMA now admits the disaster aid shortfall could approach $5 billion for the upcoming budget year, and that’s before accounting for Irene.
As a result, funds to help states and local governments rebuild from this year’s tornadoes, as well as past disasters like hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the massive Tennessee floods of last spring, have been frozen. Instead, FEMA is only paying for the “immediate needs” of disaster-stricken communities, which include debris removal, food, water and emergency shelter.