Lee Disaster Declaration for 8 Louisiana Parishes

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY | October 31, 2011

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Friday for eight Louisiana parishes, making federal aid available to governments and some nonprofit agencies to help cover emergency work and damage repair from Tropical Storm Lee in early September.

Governments in East and West Feliciana, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes said they spent or will have to spend $7.4 million, about $5.8 million of that to pay police, fire and other emergency workers.

Tropical Storm Lee was a big, fat rainmaker – it rained on Louisiana for days before and days after its center sloshed ashore on Sept. 4. New Orleans got more than a foot of rain.

Damages and emergency work totaled more than $1 million each in Jefferson, Plaquemine and Terrebonne parishes, according to a summary provided by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

The smallest total was $96,766, all for emergency protection, in East Feliciana Parish. Plaquemines Parish also put in only for emergency crews, at $1.3 million.

The largest total – $1.97 million – included $1.6 million for emergency workers, $54,000 for debris cleanup, $130,000 for damage to roads and bridges, $53,000 to fix public buildings and $80,000 in damage to public utilities in Jefferson Parish.

Other parish totals were: Terrebonne, $1 million; Lafourche, $862,700; St. Charles, $720,600; St. Bernard, $405,500; and West Feliciana $285,000.

There wasn’t enough damage to private property to qualify for federal aid, said Veronica Mosgrove, a spokeswoman for GOHSEP.

In Terrebonne Parish, officials said just after the storm that an aggressive program to raise houses after Hurricane Katrina was a big part of the reason that only a handful of homes flooded.

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