11 parishes declared disaster areas in Jan. storms

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday made disaster declarations for 11 Louisiana parishes because of the slate of severe storms and flooding that swept through the state in mid-January.

Obama’s declaration, which was requested last week by Gov. Bobby Jindal, opens Louisiana to receive federal cost sharing for the disaster and flooding response efforts.

The 11 affected parishes are Acadia, Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Madison, St. Landry and Vermilion.

But Jindal’s request for the inclusion of Rapides Parish was denied.

The White House stated the disaster declaration spans from Jan. 8 to Jan. 17.

Preliminary damage assessments had to exceed $6.5 million for federal disaster declaration consideration.

The federal funding is available to the state, local governments and some nonprofit organizations for the emergency costs and the repairing or replacing of some facilities.

The federal government is still reviewing Jindal’s request to implement the Individual Assistance Grant Program to provide direct assistance to residents affected by the severe weather in 10 parishes. These 10 parishes are Acadia, Concordia, Evangeline, Franklin, Jefferson Davis, Livingston, Madison, St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion.

Gerard Stolar, of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was named as the federal coordinating officer for the relief efforts.