- Associated Press - Friday, June 10, 2016

GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) - The federal government is providing almost $3.4 million to elevate houses on Grand Isle, but officials said that money will help only a fraction of the island homeowners whose structures are subject to flooding.

The latest funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency funds are enough for about 20 houses, far less than the number of homeowners who are seeking the funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/1YdM3Nm) reported.

Jefferson Parish’s floodplain management director Michelle Gonzales said 390 repeat-flood houses on Grand Isle have filed a total of 1,200 flood claims with FEMA. The payments total $26.4 million.

There are 42 houses that have either been approved to receive FEMA money for elevation or are in the process of being approved. The Jefferson Parish Council approved the houses after seeking and approaching property owners whose homes best met FEMA’s requirements.

Gonzales estimated that an additional 100 to 150 homes are still in need of elevation.

She said the process of distributing funds can be challenging, as federal money usually becomes available in connection with natural disasters.

“It gets difficult, if your house has 4 feet of flood water in it and you need to elevate it before you rebuild, to wait on grants to come down 12 to 24 months later,” she said.

Gonzales urged homeowners who are still awaiting elevations to maintain flood insurance because the federal government wants to see that homeowners who have previously been given federal money have kept up with regulations. She also recommended homeowners file claims if their homes get flooded.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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