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Garret Graves

09/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/22/2021 15:08

Graves Statement on the Bayou Manchac Drainage Recommendation

WASHINGTON, DC- U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana)issued the following statement after East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment announced their recommendation to improve drainage along Bayou Manchac at the border of the two parishes. The plan will be introduced to the Baton Rouge Metro Council today.

"The 2016 Flood, the May rain bomb this year, Hurricane Ida and other disasters prove that destruction doesn't stop at a parish line and that regional flood protection requires a regional solution. Rather than fighting over who floods, we've made it clear that our goal is to get the water out so no one floods. We are continuing to gather stakeholders and fund projects across south Louisiana to build more resilient communities. From the projects in the Capital Region, the West Shore project and the Morganza Project, to the Comite Diversion, Five-Bayous Projects or efforts around the Amite River and Bayou Manchac - these will all help provide better protection and lower risk. This is the first step of many resulting from our July 7th meeting," Graves said.

On July 7, 2021, Graves convened stakeholders to discuss regional solutions in the Bayou Manchac Watershed. Graves joined together with Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment, Iberville Parish President Mitchell Ourso, City of St. Gabriel Mayor Lionel Johnson, officials from Baton Rouge, and several other drainage leaders from the region. Utilizing federal funding opportunities, information from constituents, and ideas from discussions will move us toward solutions faster.

.Recently, more fundingwas announced for Louisiana flood protection projects. Benefitting Baton Rouge:

  • $8.5 million to acquire the lowlands of Bayou Duplantier for flood retention
  • $5.7 million to create retention for Ward Creek
  • $4.7 million for Cypress Bayou green infrastructure in East Baton Rouge Parish
  • $5 million to restore the University Lakes and reduce flood risk

Overall, Graves has secured over $3 billion - half to clear the backlog of legacy flood projects and half to provide future protection against flood risks in South Louisiana. The State-run Louisiana Watershed Initiative has recently announcedtranches of projects across Louisiana that are funded by the Graves-secured $1.2 billion federal Community Development Block Grant for Louisiana flood mitigation.

After the 2016 Flood, Graves secured over $3 billion in federal funding to protect our homes, businesses, law enforcement, livelihoods, schools and the communities of South Louisiana. The funds advance flood protection, mitigation and resiliency, including:

  • $50 million secured for Livingston Parish drainage projects
  • $760 million secured for the West Shore Project
  • $400 million secured for the Comite Diversion Project
  • $255 million East Baton Rouge Flood Control Project
  • $350 million for Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funding

For more information about these projects and funding, click here.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council also recently approveda $20 million budget for drainage projects from federal funding.

Graves' Effort to Stop Unaffordable, Flawed Flood Insurance Rate Hikes:

Graves and Congressman Bill Pascrell have been joined by dozens of members of Congress in an effort to block efforts by FEMA to implement substantial flood insurance rate hikes for millions of Americans. The new insurance premium calculation methodology, Risk Rating 2.0, is slated to begin on October 1, 2021 (new home purchases), with a second phase going into effect in April of next year (existing homes/policies).

Graves, Pascrell and others are urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to include the groups' amendment to put a moratorium on the implementation of the flood rate hikes. To read the letter to Pelosi and McCarthy, click here.

Massive rate changes warrant additional scrutiny and review by Members of Congress in a long-term reauthorization, not arbitrary FEMA deadlines. A delay in implementing Risk Rating 2.0 is needed to allow Congress time to work on a comprehensive long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Additionally, Graves and Whip Steve Scalise asked FEMA to delay the implementation of the new NFIPrate-setting program. On May 11, 2021, Graves previously asked for the delay

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