Gov. Edwards announces flood recovery task force

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Sept. 13 the formation of the Restore Louisiana Task Force, which is charged with overseeing the state’s recovery efforts from the recent historic flooding across South Louisiana.
“The families and individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by the devastating flood deserve every opportunity to get back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Edwards. “Recovery won’t happen overnight. It will take time to come back stronger from this natural disaster, and it will take all of us working together to make it happen. The Restore Louisiana Task Force will help ensure that we are taking every necessary step as a state government to provide those critical resources to everyone in need and to make sound long-term investments in the recovery of our state.”
The Restore Louisiana Task Force will be tasked with the following responsibilities:
• The Task Force shall establish and recommend to state and local agencies both short and long-term priorities in developing plans for recovery and redevelopment. These priorities and plans shall focus on the following areas: housing and redevelopment, economic and workforce development, education, infrastructure and transportation, healthcare, fiscal stability, family services and agriculture.
• In coordination with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), the Office of Community Development and the affected parishes and municipalities, the Task Force shall assist in developing data about the ongoing individual, business and public infrastructure needs for recovery.
• The Task Force shall work in coordination with state and local governments and the federal delegation to assist in identifying additional sources of federal funding, such as Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds.
• The Task Force shall establish a federal and state legislative agenda for the recovery and redevelopment effort and for coordinating between levels and branches of government to implement that agenda.
• The Task Force shall, in conjunction with parish and local governments, set priorities and offer direction to GOHSEP related to the use of funds made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and any additional available federal funds.
Among the 21 appointed to the Restore Louisiana Task Force are local leaders Jimmy Durbin, former mayor of the City of Denham Springs, Michael Faulk, Superintendent, Central Community Schools and Rogers Pope, State Representative, District 71.