Gov. Edwards Travels to Washington D.C. to Request Urgent Federal Relief Assistance

September 20, 2021

Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards is traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation, as well as other members of Congress to impress upon them the urgent need for federal assistance to ensure a speedy, full, and robust recovery for the people of Southwest and Southeast Louisiana who have been devastated by major hurricanes and natural disasters over the last year.  Gov. Edwards has provided a letter detailing the vast damage caused by a damaging freeze, spring flooding, and Hurricane Ida this year, as well as Hurricanes Laura, Delta and Zeta in 2020.

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

“At the beginning of this year, portions of our state suffered from a damaging freeze with spring flooding following shortly thereafter and, most recently, Hurricane Ida devastated the southeastern parishes.  Amidst these natural disasters, Louisiana fought a pandemic which has sickened and killed thousands of our citizens and stymied economic growth. As you know, there is an urgent need to provide immediate relief to our Louisiana families, businesses and individuals who have been impacted, and the help of the federal government is absolutely critical.

“Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, 2021, 16 years following Hurricane Katrina, as a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 150 mph near landfall. Hurricane Ida caused widespread power outages across the impacted area with over one million outages as well as water outages affecting over one million citizens. Twenty-nine fatalities have been associated with the storm and almost 1,000 people remain in shelters at this time and thousands of others living in very difficult circumstances. Currently, there are more than 9,000 households in the FEMA Temporary Shelter Assistance program sheltering more than 26,000 households.

“While no two disasters are the same, it is a fairly safe assumption that unmet housing needs for Ida will be well over $2.5 billion based on historical damages from similar events. The current estimate for Public Assistance for this disaster is $2.2 billion, which will require state and local governments to pay $226 million just to cover the non-federal share of these grants, a cost that has in the past been covered with CDBG-DR.

“Using FEMA’s data for Individual Assistance for Laura/Delta/Zeta, and taking insurance and other available funding sources into account, we estimate the unmet housing needs of renters and homeowners to be over $900 million. In addition, the burden on state and local governments to pay the match on FEMA’s Public Assistance grants from these storms will be more that $130 million. There is also an estimated loss to businesses of $2 billion, along with crop and timber losses of over $2 billion.

Gov. Edwards is requesting both funding and legislative actions including:

  • Expansion of Direct Repair Authority under Individual Assistance 
  • Resetting FEMA authority to grant funding to states to implement housing programs
  • Flexibility in Match for Public Assistance 
  • Extension of Disaster Recovery Reform Act Duplication of Benefit Flexibility 
  • Extension of Disaster Recovery Reform Act Relief from Excessive Reductions Based upon Flood Insurance for Campuses
  • Allowance for HUD to waive the current federal site-specific Environment Review Requirement for single family home rehabilitation

Click here to read the full letter.

The Governor will return to Louisiana on Thursday. Details for possible media availability will be forthcoming.


NOLA: City Receives $9.5 M Emergency Rental Assistance Allocation


NEW ORLEANS — This week, the City of New Orleans received an additional funding allocation in the amount of $9.5 million from The U.S. Department of the Treasury to support renters and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic, through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. The City was also recognized as a high-performing government grantee because of the success in expending more than 75 percent of the funding received in advance of the new disbursement.

“The City of New Orleans remains committed to ensuring our most vulnerable citizens receive much-needed support during a time in which housing and healthy environments are vital to ending the pandemic,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “We are grateful for this monumental recognition as a high-performer, and as a leader in Louisiana and across the nation in providing financial assistance for tenants and landlords severely impacted by the virus. Although we are helping so many in our city, the need is greater than the resources available. We remain focused on filling that gap until all of our people are served.”

“Treasury is happy to provide these state and local government programs with additional resources to support Americans in need of rental assistance,” said Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo. “We are also committed to reallocating resources to ensure assistance reaches struggling tenants and landlords during the pandemic.”

New Orleans received the additional allocation on Monday, Sept. 13, following disbursements of $11.6 million in February and $6.3 million in June, totaling $27.4 million received in ERA allocations. The City’s Office of Housing and Community Development spearheaded the rental assistance program that has served more than 4,000 Orleans Parish residents by organizing community outreach and awareness events to reach those in need.

Much of the landlord engagement efforts also involve broader educational resources to address small landlord financial needs, such as foreclosure mitigation. The ERA program has helped a large percentage of small landlords who occupy multi-family residences, manage the financial downturn that resulted due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City focused a great deal of efforts on neighborhood engagement and is actively working with the courts to help those facing eviction, receive fast-tracked emergency rental assistance.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the release of its remaining more than $13 billion in funding under the second wave of the ERA, available to high-performing state and local government grantees. The program is creating a national infrastructure fund for rental assistance that previously did not exist. The Treasury Department recognizes that many state and local governments faced a difficult task early on in building the assistance infrastructure needed to get ERA funds quickly to eligible households.

By early February, Treasury disbursed the full $25 billion available in the first round of ERA to state, local, and Tribal governments, along with $8.6 billion in additional funds made available in early May through the second round of ERA under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Nearly 50 grantees spent more than 70 percent of their first ERA allocation by July 31, including in some of nation’s largest metro regions that have adopted Treasury’s best practices.

In response to an increasing number of grantees expending their existing funds, Treasury launched a process for high-performing grantees to draw down the remainder of their ERA funding. Grantees were eligible once they substantially expended their first allocation and obligated at least 75 percent of the second allocation that was previously disbursed.

To help further expedite the disbursement of additional rental assistance funding, the Office of Housing Policy and Community Development will host a third community-based assistance event Tuesday, Sept. 21 through Thursday, Sept. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joe Brown Recreational Center (5601 Read Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70127). Anyone who has applied for rental assistance from the City of New Orleans and has not been assisted may attendCity employees will be onsite to provide updates and review documentation for rental assistance applicants. Translators and legal assistance will be available, and social distancing and masks will be required. 

For more information on the City’s ERA Rental Assistance Program, visit by clicking here.

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GOHSEP SitRep Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas 9.16.21

GOHSEP Daily Brief

September 16, 2021

As of 4:00 p.m.

State EOC Activation Level: Level I (Full Activation)

WebEOC Incident: 21-018 TC Ida – Statewide – August │ State Declaration Number: 165 JBE 2021

WebEOC Incident: 21-018 TC Nicholas – Statewide – Sept │ State Declaration Number: 173 JBE 2021

SITUATION:  Hurricane Ida made landfall along the southeastern coast of Louisiana near Port Fourchon around 11:55 am with estimated maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Hurricane Ida caused devastating destruction across southeast Louisiana. Power and water systems have been resorted to much of southeast Louisiana, however some parishes are still having long-term problems with these systems. Damage is still being assessed. Local, state, and federal partners are responding to parish needs and recovery is underway.

Nicholas weakened into a remnant low early this morning, however deep tropical moisture will remain across the region through the weekend. Heavy rain and risk of flash flooding continue to be the primary concerns along with ongoing river flooding and minor coastal flooding during high tide. Widespread 2 to 6 inches of additional rainfall is anticipated through the weekend with locally higher amounts higher possible. Heading into the end of the workweek and weekend numerous to widespread showers will remain possible each day. Tropics remain active but no impacts from new development is anticipated for the next 7 days at this time.

Click below to view the full report:

GOHSEP SitRep Hurricane Ida and Tropical Storm Nicholas 9.16.21

GOHSEP Daily Brief – September 14, 2021

GOHSEP Daily Brief 

September 14, 2021 

As of 4:00 p.m. 

State EOC Activation Level: Level I (Full Activation) 

WebEOC Incident: 21-018 TC Ida – Statewide – August │ State Declaration Number: 165 JBE 2021 

WebEOC Incident: 21-018 TC Nicholas – Statewide – Sept │ State Declaration Number: 173 JBE 2021 

Click below for full report:

GOHSEP SITREP – Sept. 14, 2021

Gov. Edwards Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Tropical Storm Nicholas

BATON ROUGE — Gov. John Bel Edwards on Sunday declared a state of emergency for Louisiana in advance of Tropical Storm Nicholas, which has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is forecasted by the National Weather Service to bring heavy rains and flash flooding to the state in the coming days. Areas affected by hurricanes Ida and Laura, and flash flooding earlier in the year, could see impacts from the tropical weather. As of 6 p.m. on Sunday, there are still 130,478 power outages in Southeast Louisiana caused by Hurricane Ida.

The Emergency Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is activated, monitoring the potential storm and ongoing recovery efforts, and coordinating with both FEMA and parish offices of emergency preparedness. A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts, which are complicated by the ongoing recovery from other hurricanes and severe weather.

“The most severe threat to Louisiana is in the Southwest portion of the state, where recovery from Hurricane Laura and the May flooding is ongoing. In this area heavy rain and flash flooding are possible. However, it is also likely that all of South Louisiana will see heavy rain this week, including areas recently affected by Hurricane Ida. This tropical storm has the potential to disrupt some power restoration and recovery work currently underway. I encourage anyone who has had recent damage from Ida, Laura or other disasters to take necessary measures to protect their home or business from additional harm. All Louisianans should to pay close attention to this tropical system in the coming days,” Gov. Edwards said.

Click here to read the state of emergency.

If travel is in your plans, visit for updates on road conditions. GOHSEP is closely monitoring this weather threat and stands ready to support our local partners and state agencies if help if needed.

For updates from the Governor’s Office, text the word ‘IDA’ to 67283.

Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Listen to conversations on all aspects of emergency management by downloading GOHSEP’s The Get A Game Plan Podcast. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at


Hurricane Ida Survivors: Take Precautions Ahead of Tropical Storm Nicholas

Sept. 13, 2021
DR-4611-LA NR-006
FEMA News Desk: (225) 389-2408
Learn more at September 2021 1

News Release

Hurricane Ida Survivors: Take Precautions Ahead of Tropical Storm

BATON ROUGE, La. – FEMA wants to remind Louisiana residents and survivors of Hurricane Ida to take precautions
ahead of Tropical Storm Nicholas.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm may bring heavy rains and flash flooding, in addition to strong
wind gusts and storm surge. Keep in mind that storm track, size, intensity and direction can change. Areas far from
the storm’s center can experience effects such as flooding, intense rainfall and heavy winds.
Stay alert to weather warnings, monitor your local news for updates and listen to your local officials. Please be safe
and watch for emergency alerts and real-time safety notifications on evacuations.

Visit, or to learn how you can keep yourself, your family and your pets safe.
Download the free FEMA app (available in English and Spanish) to receive emergency alerts and real-time safety
notifications, emergency preparedness tips and disaster resources. The app is available for Apple and Android

For the latest information visit Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at or on Facebook at

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NOAA National Hurricane Center: Tropical Storm Nicholas 1pm Update

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* Port Aransas Texas to Sabine Pass
* Galveston Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Port Aransas to San Luis Pass Texas
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Mouth of the Rio Grande to Sabine Pass
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Baffin Bay to Port Aransas Texas
* Sabine Pass to Rutherford Beach Louisiana
* Corpus Christi Bay
Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area in southern Texas through the next few hours. These conditions will spread northward within the warning area through tonight, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous. Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area as early as this afternoon or this evening.
A couple of tornadoes are possible this afternoon and tonight across the middle and upper Texas coast.
At 1 p.m. CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located over the western Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas about 70 miles (115 km) south-southeast of Port Aransas and about 105 miles (165 km) south of Port O’Connor. Nicholas is moving toward the north near 12 mph (19 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Nicholas will continue to pass just offshore of the coast of south Texas this afternoon and move onshore along the coast of central Texas later this evening.
Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts.
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 115 miles (185 km) from the center. During the past few hours, NOAA buoy 42020 located southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, reported a sustained wind of 49 mph (80 km/h) and a gust to 56 mph (91 km/h). The estimated minimum central pressure is 1002 mb (29.59 inches). Strengthening is forecast to take place this afternoon and evening, and Nicholas could be near hurricane strength when it reaches the northwest Gulf coast. Weakening is anticipated on Tuesday and Wednesday while Nicholas moves over land.
The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide:
– Port O’Connor to San Luis Pass TX including Matagorda Bay…3-5 ft
– San Luis Pass, TX to Rutherford Beach, LA including Galveston Bay…2-4 ft
– Baffin Bay to Port O’Connor, TX…2-4 ft
– Corpus Christi Bay, Aransas Bay and San Antonio Bay…2-4 ft
– Mouth of the Rio Grande to Baffin Bay…1-3 ft
– Rutherford Beach, LA to Intracoastal City, LA…1-3 ft
– Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake…1-3 ft
Nicholas is expected to produce storm total rainfall of 8 to 16 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches, across portions of the middle and upper Texas coastal areas through the middle of the week. Life-threatening, flash and urban flooding impacts are possible, especially across portions of the upper Texas Gulf Coast near Lake Jackson and Freeport, TX. Across the rest of southeast Texas into southwest Louisiana rainfall of 5 to 10 inches is expected. This rainfall may produce areas of considerable flash and urban flooding, especially in highly urbanized metropolitan areas. Additionally, there is the potential for isolated minor to moderate river flooding..
Swells generated by Nicholas will continue affecting portions of the northwest Gulf coast through Tuesday. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office –
The next complete advisory will be issued by NHC at 4 p.m. CDT –