WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is awarding $21.5 million in federal funds to the State of Louisiana for relief assistance from COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura.
“This past year, Louisiana’s hospitals and state agencies have had to grapple with both a pandemic and one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall along our coast,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This federal funding relieves the burden on our state to make a strong recovery and bounce back.”
The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) is receiving $17.5 million in federal funding for emergency protective measures in response to the COVID-19 crisis. FMOLHS made hospital modifications by expanding ICU beds for temporary COVID-19 patient care at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and purchased supplies, materials and personal protective equipment. FMOLHS also incurred costs for employees working overtime to care for COVID-19 patients and administered tests, treatment and diagnosis of symptoms.
The City of DeRidder is receiving $1.1 million in federal funding for using contract labor for debris removal following the destruction caused by Hurricane Laura. It’s estimated that 350,000 cubic yards of vegetative debris and 50,000 cubic yards of construction and demolition debris were disposed of after the storm.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving nearly $3 million in federal funding for contracting with the American Red Cross to operate non-congregate sheltering at hotels for Hurricane Laura evacuees to comply with COVID-19 mitigation measures to protect public health. American Red Cross contracted with 41 hotels for 4,467 units. At its peak, the Louisiana non-congregate shelter program for Hurricane Laura sheltered 21,510 evacuees in 8,115 hotel rooms.