Partial Disaster Declared in Louisiana

by Greg Pollowitz

. . . in anticipation of the damage from the Mississippi river flooding, but the “partial” declaration from Team Obama is not sitting well with the editors of the Times Picayune:

Corps of Engineers maps forecast flooding in large areas of St. Mary, Assumption, Terrebonne and other South Louisiana parishes if Morganza is opened for the first time since 1973. The corps still was estimating Monday how many homes and other structures may flood. But residents shouldn’t have to wait for maps to make preparations. As Gov. Bobby Jindal warned: “If you got wet in 1973, you’ll get wet this time. If you nearly got wet in 1973, you’ll probably get wet this time.”

Yet the Obama administration granted the state only a partial disaster declaration. That allows state and local governments to receive direct federal supplies. But a full disaster declaration is needed for cash-strapped local governments to get up to 75 percent reimbursement for their flood control expenses. A full declaration also would set up the process for the state to request individual assistance for flood victims. The administration should reconsider its decision and grant the full disaster declaration so aid will flow smoothly as it is needed.

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