The fact is, the United States Congress and President Joe Biden haven’t done nearly enough for the victims of hurricanes in Louisiana, particularly in the Lake Charles area, which was so badly damaged by Hurricane Laura more than a year ago.
It’s not enough. But it is progress, albeit limited.
As Louisiana has learned bitterly over the years, federal aid after a disaster is neither overly generous nor flexible enough and burdened with bureaucratic obligations.
The urgent need for a housing program in Lake Charles can be somewhat addressed by the new aid package approved by our dysfunctional national legislature in Washington.
Now state and local governments – like the severely tested Mayor Nic Hunter of Lake Charles – must work through bureaucratic hurdles that take time. That time would have been shortened if Congress had acted with the urgency that hurricanes Laura and Delta demanded last year, but that is our situation now.
We hope the new US Department of Housing and Urban Development Director Marcia Fudge forgets the photo ops and focuses on getting her bureaucracy going to get the money into housing in southwest Louisiana.
Some aid has also been approved for the regions devastated by this year’s Hurricane Ida. Our state delegation to Congress will need a lot more work to ensure that another tranche of aid does not fall behind in the mud fights of today’s legislative process.
Not enough, but we hope it’s a start, not just for the Lake Charles area, but also for our Ida devastated regions.