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|Additional parishes named to government's disaster list|
Residents of all 64 Louisiana parishes who incurred losses thanks to Hurricane Gustav are now eligible for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
That is the case since 19 additional parishes were declared disaster areas last week, including Concordia and Ouachita, according to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
Landrieu issued a news release late last week saying the additional parishes had been included in the government's disaster declaration. The parishes in question were originally overlooked when the federal government declared disaster areas as Gustav moved across the state.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said he was pleased the 19 parishes had been included in the government's disaster declaration. Jindal, though, said the job of hurricane recovery is far from over.
"We still have more work to do," Jindal said. "We are continuing to work with Congress to grant Louisiana a 100 percent federal cost share, just as they have already granted for Texas after Hurricane Ike and as they did for our state after Hurricane Katrina in 2005."
Jindal said the additional funding would be necessary for Louisiana to recover following Gustav.
"This 100 percent federal cost share, along with aid for our farmers who were severely impacted from the storms, is critical to helping people get back on their feet following these two hurricanes," Jindal said.
Naming the additional parishes to the government's disaster list occurred after much wrangling behind the scenes, including a visit by Jindal and members of his staff to Washington to secure the declaration.
Landrieu said federal assistance would allow state and local government agencies and some nonprofit organizations to receive disaster assistance to pay their costs associated with hurricane relief or storm damage.
"Hurricane Gustav was a statewide event, and the damage it caused stretches from our southern coast to our farmlands in the north," Landrieu said. "I am pleased that the challenges facing our northern parishes have been recognized, and that the organizations and government entities that are suffering from losses inflicted by the storm will now be eligible for the assistance they require and deserve."
Landrieu said it was important that the federal government "not turn a blind eye to the plight of those still suffering."
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