The 2020 hurricane season has proven to be incredibly challenging for many in coastal cities, and particularly those in Louisiana. The state has seen widespread hurricane damage from multiple storms in the Lake Charles area, leaving many wondering how they’ll be able to fully recover. Now, in the aftermath of these storms, Louisiana coastal officials have begun requesting billions in funding for hurricane risk reduction – a move that has the potential to bring about the relief the state so desperately needs following a record-breaking hurricane season.
Louisiana Officials Push for Federal Aid
Coastal officials in Louisiana have begun a push for the state’s congressional delegation to support an emergency bill following this year’s tumultuous hurricane season, which greatly affected the state. This expected emergency supplemental appropriation bill would provide money for necessary emergency repairs following this year’s hurricanes. Officials are also hoping Congress will allocate billions in federal support for hurricane protection projects, one of which includes a 92-mile levee.
The damage caused by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta, combined with hurricanes other natural disasters that caused damage this year, has created an interest in emergency funding among multiple members of Congress, which has yet to act – a move that has angered many Louisiana officials.
Despite its frustration, Louisiana is still looking for the initial payment of its share of the $3 billion levee system. In fact, state and parish money totaling over $500 million has already been used to raise levees to a 25- to 50-year level of protection. Unfortunately, however, at least $2 billion in federal funding is still needed to raise the levees to a 100-year level of protection. This particular level is just high enough to withstand surges caused by hurricanes. Louisiana is also awaiting more than $3 billion in federal money for the Southwest Coastal Hurricane Risk Reduction project. These funds will be used to either elevate or relocate 4,000 homes and businesses at risk of surge flooding in Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion Parishes and for projects to improve water flow in wetlands along the Calcasieu River.
A similar $1.4 billion south central coastal project in St. Mary, St. Martin, and Iberia Parishes calls for elevating, relocating, or flood-proofing more than 3,500 home and business structures, but this component has also not received federal funding.
Business owners in Lake Charles, Louisiana have dealt with more than their fair share of hurricanes in 2020. This year alone the coastal city saw several storms back-to-back, including Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta. The damage from these storms has left business owners struggling to rebuild and reopen.
This brutal hurricane season coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult than ever for business owners to find their footing. As Louisiana business owners grapple with their insurers over property damage claims that continue to be delayed, others are forced to deal with long waits from local contractors that are also dealing with property damage to their own businesses.
The aftermath of a single hurricane can be incredibly devastating; however, after encountering multiple storms seemingly on top of each other, local Louisiana business owners have nowhere to turn. Insurance companies have proven to be fickle in these circumstances, as their main concern is how they can turn a profit of their own, often leaving policyholders without a means to recover. Because of this, it’s incredibly important that Louisiana business owners consult with an experienced hurricane damage claims attorney.
Hurricane Insurance Claims Attorneys
Businesses in Lake Charles, Louisiana continue to struggle with insurance companies following hurricane damage. Unfortunately, more often than not, insurers are more interested in turning a profit for themselves than in assisting a local business that desperately needs their help. At Raizner Law, our attorneys have successfully handled thousands of hurricane insurance claims. As leaders in bad faith insurance litigation nationwide, we have successfully handled significant and complex commercial insurance litigation for years. If you or someone you know suffered property damage to a business as a result of Hurricane Laura, contact our office today to see how we can help.