coastal desk

Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Join WWNO’s Coastal Desk for a kayak tour of Bayou St. John! The free, 2-hour Sunday paddle will explore the ecosystem of south Louisiana through the lens of this urban bayou, which has played a critical role in the history of the city. 

 

Gonzales, Louisiana; August 2016
Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

It’s been nearly six months since the historic flooding in southeast Louisiana. Since then, Congress has authorized $1.6 billion for the state to help people repair homes and businesses. But that’s well short of the estimated $8 billion in damage done. Wallis Watkins spoke with some flood survivors trying to navigate the recovery process.

About 15 people gathered for the Coastal Desk tour of the Port of New Orleans on February 10.
Jason Saul / WWNO

CLICK ON THE SLIDESHOW TO SEE THE IMAGES

Last week nearly 15 New Orleans Public Radio listeners joined our Coastal Desk reporters for a tour of the Port of New Orleans.

On February 10 we boarded The Roy S. Kelley, a large boat owned by the Port, and toured the operations along the Mississippi River -- from New Orleans Cold Storage adjacent to the Fly park Uptown, all the way to the Industrial Canal inlet separating the Bywater neighborhood from the Lower 9th Ward. Paul Matthews, the Community Affairs Manager for the Port of New Orleans, lead the tour and answered listeners' questions.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

Governor John Bel Edwards is traveling to Washington, D.C. - his sixth trip since the August flooding in Louisiana. He’ll be meeting with lawmakers to request an additional $2 billion in flood relief.

So far, Congress has approved two installments of funding for the state at a total of $1.6 billion. But Governor Edwards says that is still short of what’s needed.

Last week, the Governor sent letters to both the Louisiana Congressional Delegation and President Trump describing the unmet needs of homeowners, renters and businesses.

Business Recovery In Baton Rouge After The Floods

Feb 6, 2017
Karen Henderson / WRKF

Most of Louisiana’s $1.6 billion dollars in federal flood recovery money has been dedicated to homeowners. But thousands of businesses also need financial help if they’re going to recover. According to the National Flood Insurance Program 40-percent of flooded business never reopen. Karen Henderson from WRKF looks at how Baton Rouge area businesses are recovering, nearly six months after the devastating flood.

Hebert family / WWNO

For many in south Louisiana flooding is a part of daily life. You buy flood insurance, plan ahead and have a place to stay if there’s a big hurricane. But the floods this summer in and around Baton Rouge took a lot of people by surprise. Many of them had moved away from the coast after previous storms, and never thought it would happen there.

Betsy Shepherd / Louisiana Public Radio Partnership

As part of our ongoing reporting on flood recovery in Louisiana, Betsy Shepherd set out to tell the story of Guidry Brangus Ranch, a family-owned cattle farm in rural Vermilion Parish. Struggling to recover after being submerged by floodwater last August, Shannon Guidry planned to sell his farm. But just a few weeks after the interview, another tragedy struck - and this agriculture recovery story took a turn that no one could have imagined.

Jessica Rosgaard / WWNO

The federal government has already allocated $1.6 billion to Louisiana to aid in recovery from the August flood. Today, the Restore Louisiana Task Force approved the Governor’s plan on how to spend it. 

A large majority of the federal recovery money -- $1.3 billion -- will be spent on home repairs.

The focus is on over 36-thousand homes that took on major damage and were not covered by flood insurance.

An illustration from the Draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan, showing how many residential structures may be eligible for voluntary buyouts in specific areas.
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Under Louisiana’s new coastal "Master Plan", more than twenty-four hundred homes may be offered voluntary buyouts by the state. That’s because officials no longer believe these properties—more than a third of them on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain—can be protected from catastrophic storms and flooding.

Wallis Watkins / WWNO

Over a third of the public schools in Livingston Parish were damaged by the flooding in Southeast Louisiana last August. While some of those schools have been repaired, others still haven't been able to reopen - like Southside Junior High School, where classes began this new year at a new site - for now. Wallis Watkins reports.

As students settle into Mr. Ivy’s 8th grade Louisiana History class, Principal Wes Partin makes morning announcements.

“We want to welcome all our students back and we’re looking forward to a great spring semester here at our school."

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