Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed Oct 28 20:41:22 EDT 2009


NEW ORLEANS - Only three months after the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA), the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) and the Governor's
Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) announced
$13.8 million for St. Bernard Parish's roadway restoration project, the
three agencies announced another $70.6 million to support the post-Katrina
recovery project.

"The streets of St. Bernard Parish were so greatly damaged by Hurricane
Katrina that residents' travels throughout their communities were often
impeded," said FEMA's Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office Acting Director
Tony Russell. "As a result, Parish President Craig Taffaro Jr. has developed
a plan to repair this critical infrastructure. And, in unison with our state
partners, we've continued to provide eligible funding as the actual scope of
this recovery project increases."

The federal agency's recent funding of $70.6 million covers damages that
were not originally included in previous obligations for St. Bernard's
roadways. This supplementary flow of recovery dollars is concurrent with
FEMA's policy, whereby all public assistance grants provided are "living
grants." This means that as additional eligible damages are found and
documented, the agency will continue to obligate recovery dollars

"St. Bernard's growth and recovery continues to benefit when FEMA, the
Governor's Office and St. Bernard Parish Government officials reach
milestone cooperative agreements such as this wide-reaching $70.6 million
public assistance grant that is absolutely critical to repairing miles and
miles of roads damaged by Hurricane Katrina," President Taffaro said.

In order to identify Hurricane Katrina damages, FEMA, the state and parish
representatives jointly "walked the streets," assessing hundreds of miles of
roadways throughout St. Bernard.

"This is an important investment in the future of St. Bernard Parish, and
another example of what can happen when federal, state and local officials
work together to truly assess the recovery needs of our citizens," said Paul
Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority.

To date, FEMA has provided a combined total of $84.4 million in public
assistance for St. Bernard Parish's roadway restoration project, which is
currently underway.

When FEMA approves projects through its supplemental Public Assistance
grant, the funds are transferred to a federal Smartlink account. Once the
funds have reached this account, the applicant can request reimbursement

from GOHSEP for eligible work completed.

The Public Assistance program works with state and local officials to fund
recovery measures and the rebuilding of government and certain private
nonprofit organizations' buildings, as well as roads, bridges

and water and sewer plants. In order for the process to be successful,
federal, state and local partners coordinate to draw up project plans, fund
these projects and oversee their completion.

Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita in 2005,
the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the coordinating and planning body
leading the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history. The
central point for hurricane recovery in Louisiana, the LRA works closely
with the GOHSEP and partners with state and federal agencies to oversee more
than $20 billion worth of programs, speed the pace of rebuilding, remove
hurdles and red tape and ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger
than before.

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure
that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our
capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and
mitigate all hazards.

# # #

Editors: For more information on Louisiana disaster recovery, visit
www.fema.gov <http://www.fema.gov/> /latro.

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