Coastal Desk

Eve Troeh/WWNO

It's been over 100 days since floodwaters rose up to the rooftops in parts of Baton Rouge, La. The so-called 1,000-year flood hit neighborhoods that had never seen such a disaster. But to some flood victims, it was all too familiar - those who moved to Baton Rouge from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina about a decade ago.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

As this holiday season begins, Louisiana waits on federal disaster relief funding; no word yet on the Governor's request to Congress for an additional four billion dollars. While some flood victims spent Thanksgiving in newly fixed houses, thousands more are still not home. Jessica Rosgaard went to a free holiday meal for flood victims in Baton Rouge.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

Louisiana is investing millions of dollars to protect what wetlands are left along the coast. Also building diversions and barrier islands to protect people’s homes and livelihoods. But the truth is, ever since Katrina, many coastal towns have been shrinking faster, on their own.

Make Wetlands Great Again
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Louisiana spends heavily on building wetlands and levees to protect its eroding coast. Over the next three years, the state plans to put nearly $300 million into land-building alone. But as the true picture of sea level rise comes into view, officials may need to explore a less popular option: retreat from the coast.


Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Three months after flood waters devastated southeast Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards is hoping his second request for federal funds will be approved before Congress adjourns for the year. Part of the $4-billion request would be designated for infrastructure improvements. He addressed the topic in his monthly radio call-in show.

Louisiana Elections and Flood Recovery Funding

Nov 11, 2016

Jessica Rosgaard: We’re talking to Elizabeth Crisp, Capitol Reporter for The Advocate, about the election, Louisiana's open Senate seat, and the future of flood recovery funding requests. Elizabeth, thanks for joining us.

Elizabeth Crisp: Thanks for having me.

Jesse Hardman

Back in August, just after the historic floods, Louisiana officials expressed concern that proposed federal and state disaster recovery funds might not be enough. With deadlines for flood assistance programs passed, or looming, affected residents are learning the math of getting back on their feet.

Verdin family

Every five years, the state revamps its master plan to restore coastal Louisiana. This year, they’re hosting community meetings in coastal areas to tell people about master plan updates for 2017.

The Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority’s master plan is in the process of being updated, which happens every five years. The new plan includes “non structural” projects – like elevation, flood proofing, and even relocating people. In order to get local input, CPRA officials are hosting a series of community conversations along the coast.

On Friday, New Orleans received new flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Overnight, more than half the population moved out of the so-called high-risk zone.

But with half the city at or below sea level and memories of massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago, some residents are worried these new maps send the wrong message.

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