Deadline set for Thursday  to apply for aid due to Issac

Nearly 200,000 Louisianians have applied for federal assistance as a result of Hurricane Isaac, but the deadline for such applications ends Thursday, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The number of people seeking individual assistance to recover from Isaac damage exceeds those who sought federal help after both Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Rita, but is well below the number who asked for aid as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Only a fraction of those who have applied for individual assistance as a result of Isaac have been approved, according to FEMA data.

So far, FEMA has approved 32,163 people for housing assistance and 21,632 for other help in Louisiana, with some of those people getting help in both categories.

State residents have gotten $117.5 million in individual assistance from FEMA in connection with Isaac, said Ray Perez, a spokesman for the agency.

That number will continue to rise as applications are processed and as people are successful in appeals, he said.

The Small Business Administration has provided another $138.8 million in loans to Louisiana claimants with damage caused by Isaac, Perez aid

FEMA also has given $121.8 million in public assistance to governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations in Louisiana in connection with Isaac, Perez said.

The largest number of applications, 59,167, has come from Jefferson Parish, FEMA data show. Jefferson Parish residents have received $16.1 million in individual assistance to help in recovery from Isaac.

The most individual assistance money, $28.1 million, has gone to residents of St. John the Baptist Parish, where an Isaac-generated storm surge from Lake Pontchartrain flooded numerous homes. FEMA data show 12,629 residents of that parish have applied for help.

In Orleans Parish, 51,047 people have applied for FEMA assistance. So far, they have gotten $12.9 million in individual assistance, according to FEMA records.

To the west, the southern parts of Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes were hit hard by floodwaters that Hurricane Isaac pushed into Lake Maurepas.

In Tangipahoa Parish, 10,153 people have registered for FEMA help. Those approved so far have received $9.6 million.

In Livingston Parish, 5,111 people registered for assistance. Those approved have received $7.5 million so far.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, 5,429 people registered, receiving $1.7 million, while in Ascension Parish, 2,990 people registered, and those approved have received $1.8 million.

Though the number of people who sought help after Isaac was higher than those seeking help following Gustav, in 2008, or Rita, in 2005, the $117.5 million given to Louisiana residents in connection with Isaac pales in comparison to the amount of financial assistance distributed after the other storms.

Though only 71,213 people registered for individual assistance after Hurricane Gustav, they received $216.9 million, according to FEMA data.

Hurricane Rita resulted in 177,662 registrations and payouts to claimants amounting to $523.5 million.

The benchmark storm, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, brought registration by 738,316 people who received $5.25 billion in individual assistance.

Homeowners, renters and business owners who received damage from Hurricane Isaac may register for assistance online with FEMA through Thursday at http://www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling (800) 621-3326. People can also register at m.fema.gov by smartphone, according to FEMA.