CNN Premiere: FEMA to Provide Flood Prevention Funding to These 4 States Affected by Hurricane Ida

Starting April 1, homeowners in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be able to apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to rebuild or sell homes that have been repeatedly flooded.

The funding – called the Swift Current Initiative – is intended to help homeowners raise or renovate their homes, relocate, or allow local and state governments to buy a home and tear it down if it has been flooded too many times.

The four states were selected because they have the highest rates of severe and repetitive flood damage, according to a FEMA fact sheet.

“The Swift Current Initiative represents FEMA’s commitment to quickly and equitably getting risk mitigation funding to the communities that need it most,” FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said in a statement. communicated. “President Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act made this program possible, and we are excited to continue our work to make our country stronger, safer and more resilient to future disasters.”

Vice President Kamala Harris will also discuss funding during a trip to Sunset, Louisiana on Monday.

Of the $60 million total for the program, Louisiana will get the vast majority of the funding. The Gulf Coast State will receive $40 million, New Jersey will receive $10 million, and Mississippi and Pennsylvania will receive $5 million each.

Ida was the most expensive extreme weather event in the United States last year, costing $75 billion and ranking among the five most expensive US hurricanes since 1980.

The hurricane made landfall on August 29 near Port Fourchon, about 10 miles southwest of Grand Isle, as a Category 4 with winds up to 150 mph. The storm carved a destructive path through the south, then its remnants pushed into the northeast and caused deadly flooding.

Human-caused climate change has made hurricanes more dangerous, scientists say. Storms move slower, producing more precipitation, and their storm surges increase along the coast. Hurricane Ida was a prime example of these changes, and scientists say storms like this will become more frequent as the planet warms.
This is the first round of funding from Biden’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which contained a total of $3.5 billion for flood mitigation assistance grants over a five-year period.

However, the agency may expand the program to other states after evaluating the effectiveness of the first round of funding. And more flood mitigation assistance funds will be available in the coming months through FEMA’s annual grant application process, according to the agency’s fact sheet.

FEMA says Swift Current’s funding will be in line with the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative, where 40% of proceeds will go to underserved communities. While FEMA typically pays 75% of the cost share to rebuild flood-prone homes, it offers a higher 90% cost share for buildings in “socially vulnerable” communities that struggle to meet their share of the cost. cost sharing.

For the agency’s Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, they are offering 100% federal matching for severe recurring loss properties (properties that flood again and again) and 90% for recurring loss properties (insurable buildings with two or more National Flood Insurance Program claims over $1,000).

The application period will open on April 1 and end on October 3.

CNN’s Rachel Ramirez contributed to this report.

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