WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday awarded a $3.35 million emergency grant to Louisiana to fund temporary jobs for Hurricane Isaac cleanup and recovery efforts.
Out of the total grant, $1.1 million is immediately available while the rest will be handed out as the state demonstrates the continued need, according to the Department of Labor.
“We all watched with dismay as Hurricane Isaac’s path of destruction hit communities in Louisiana,” Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said. “This funding is part of the federal government’s commitment to help residents and communities with the tremendous recovery efforts already under way.”
The grant comes one day after the U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $3.5 million in immediate federal funding for highway debris removal.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., called the grant an important part in the hurricane recovery process.
“This money for highway debris removal is a critical step in helping the state reestablish travel so that residents and businesses can begin to function as normal,” Landrieu stated.
“This storm did more than devastate homes,” Landrieu said in prepared statement. “It has closed offices, businesses and other facilities that employ hundreds of Louisiana residents. This funding will give displaced workers a sense of security while they work to return their lives and our communities to normal.”
“Louisiana’s roads and highways have suffered significant damage from Hurricane Isaac,” Sen. David Vitter, R-La., added. “This grant will begin the process to rebuild or repair that infrastructure.”
Funds from the program can be used for the removal of trees, mud, sand and other debris to re-establish travel on highways in Louisiana.
Residents in Assumption, St. Helena, St. James, Terrebonne and Washington parishes can apply for federal and state disaster assistance, as they were added Thursday to the major disaster declaration for Hurricane Isaac.
Homeowners, renters and business owners in the five parishes can register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance, and report their uninsured or underinsured property damage or destruction from the storm.
“The disaster designation for these extra parishes will allow us to rush assistance to many more eligible hurricane survivors in Louisiana,” Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Hall said in a prepared statement. “Survivors in all 16 parishes now designated for Individual Assistance should register with FEMA as soon as possible.”
Louisiana, Individual Assistance also is available for Ascension, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.