Gov. Edwards announces $30M buyout program to reduce flood risk in Calcasieu Parish

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Parents use boats to pick up students from schools after nearly a foot of rain fell in Lake Charles, La., Monday, May 17, 2021. (Rick Hickman/American Press via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La (KLFY) — Gov. Edwards announced that the state is funding a $30 million program to offer voluntary residential buyouts in the Grienwich Terrace neighborhood of Lake Charles, an area that has flooded three times in the last four years.

The buyout program furthers the Louisiana Watershed Initiative‘s long-term resilience objectives and is funded through a $1.2 billion federal mitigation grant the state received access to last September.

The program is part of the state projects and programs criteria in the CDBG-MIT Action Plan for these funds.

Gov. Edwards made a statement on the initiative:

“This week’s floods are a painful reminder of the devastation water continues to inflict on our state—something the people of Southwest Louisiana know all too well—and how urgent it is that we continue making investments to create more resilient, sustainable communities. As we continue to press the federal government for additional recovery funds following hurricanes Laura and Delta, we have been working with impacted communities to provide immediate relief to our residents and fund projects that align with federal grant requirements and our state’s long-term resilience objectives. Through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, we are working to address the needs of communities throughout the state with projects like buyouts, where the long-term flood risk reduction benefits are unquestionable.”

Today’s announcement is the result of ongoing discussions with city and parish leaders who prioritized the Greinwich Terrace neighborhood as a top candidate for buyouts. The state’s coastal master plan also highlights the need for this program, leveraging science and data to reinforce the benefits these nonstructural risk reduction measures will offer to the area.

The state will continue to partner with local leaders and agencies as they engage area residents, understand their specific needs and review the buyout options available to them.

LWI is working with watershed regions throughout the state to identify and fund other projects that mitigate future flood risk.

For more information about LWI, visit the website or email watershed@la.gov.  

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