Letter to Hon. Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Richard Shelby, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Hon. Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, and Hon. Kay Granger, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations - Louisiana Delegation Push for Additional Hurricane Relief from Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida


Dear Chairman Leahy, Vice-Chairman Shelby, Chair DeLauro, and Ranking Member Granger:

As you know, the 2020 and 2021 Atlantic Hurricane seasons brought historic impacts to south
Louisiana. State and local emergency response capabilities in Louisiana have been stretched to the limits
by the COVID-19 pandemic, a significant freeze and historic May flood, Tropical Storm Cristobal, and
Hurricanes Laura, Marco, Delta, Zeta, and Ida -- all of which struck Louisiana in an 18-month period. The
cumulative impact of these multiple disasters occurring in close geographical and chronological proximity
has necessitated a robust federal response. We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Committees on
Appropriation to secure $5 billion in the September Continuing Resolution for disaster relief funds for
natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. However, Louisiana is only eligible for a fraction of these funds, and
we believe that the needs of our constituents significantly exceed what has been appropriated and allocated
thus far.

Of the $2 billion presently allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development,
Louisiana received $600,131,000 for areas impacted by Hurricanes Laura (DR-4559) and Delta (DR-4570)
to use for unmet housing, infrastructure, and mitigation needs. The State of Louisiana estimates that the
housing needs for Hurricanes Laura and Delta alone exceed $510 million, leaving a nearly $300 million
shortfall to help house disaster survivors in Southwest Louisiana. These communities are exceptionally
vulnerable: Hurricane Laura made landfall 18 months ago and many survivors still lack permanent housing
solutions. Additionally, the Port of Lake Charles suffered over $240 million in damages. If economic
drivers like the Port cannot recover, this will also hinder recovery efforts throughout the region.

The same is true for victims of Hurricane Ida, who have yet to receive an allocation of Community
Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds. The State of Louisiana has estimated that
unmet housing needs for victims of Hurricane Ida will exceed $1.5 billion. We can anticipate other
necessary funds for public infrastructure, resilience measures, future flood mitigation, hardening critical
infrastructure, and numerous other categories that are historically funded in emergency supplemental
appropriations. In the meantime, thousands of Louisianians are living in tents or have found other means
of temporary housing and still do not have access to critical unmet needs dollars.

Finally, in addition to providing funds to the CDBG-DR program to get disaster survivors back on
their feet, the Congress must match that investment in recovery with an equally critical investment in predisaster mitigation and protection from future flooding events. In particular, we would highlight the need
for additional funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in areas impacted by Hurricane Ida, including
Morganza-to-the-Gulf, Grand Isle, Lower Jefferson Parish project or other efforts to protect the Lafitte, LA
area, to provide full federal funding for the Comprehensive Lower Mississippi Study authorized by the
Water Resources Development Act of 2020, and continued investments in the Hurricane Storm Damage
Risk Reduction System and other vital flood protection projects.

While Congress waits for FEMA to finalize damage estimates, thousands of Louisianians are trying
to decide whether to stay and rebuild or move on. This is an urgent crisis: families across Louisiana are
struggling to house people and meet their basic life-sustaining needs today. We respectfully request swift
action to make good on the promise of the down payment in the September Continuing Resolution and
appropriate additional supplemental funding dollars for unmet needs in Louisiana. South Louisiana has
been hit by unprecedented disaster and needs the support of the Congress to put them on the path to a full

Thank you for your prompt attention to this urgent request,