Thursday, January 26, 2006


Gov't block grants a joke in LA

Simply offering funds to those who did not have flood insurance and did not live in "flood plains" is not going to help us rebuild our city. The homes that flooded here in New Orleans is a direct result of the failure of the seawalls, designed and constructed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. If the Baker Bill doesn't get resurrected, it will be the wild west out here, with land developers roving town to take adavantage of flooded homeowners with few choices.

Storm-ravaged areas of Louisiana will get $6.2 billion in federal relief funds in a controversial plan that recommends giving the money to a small fraction of homeowners affected by the storm.

Donald Powell, President Bush's coordinator for Gulf Coast rebuilding, suggested that money from the government's funding grant, announced Wednesday, be doled out to roughly 20,000 homeowners who weren't in a flood zone and did not have flood insurance when Hurricane Katrina hit. State officials must draw up plans for disbursing the money and get federal approval.

Louisiana officials had proposed a far more ambitious $30 billion initiative to rebuild ruined areas and said the government's relief effort would exclude at least 140,000 homes.
"It simply will not work," said Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, adding that she won't use the money as the White House recommends. "We are not in the business of choosing between our citizens."

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