FEMA

LIVINGSTON – The state branch of the Federal Emergency Management Administration rejected a Livingston Parish request for assistance on nearly $65 million in repairs to roads inundated during the August flood.

The project worksheet covers more than 393.7 miles in roads across Livingston Parish, according to Mark Harrell, director of the Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

“There is no one area affected more than any across the parish – all are damaged or will eventually be damaged,” he said. “What we’re going after is all the engineering that goes behind the roads.”

Harrell based the project request on findings from engineers.

Some roads were inundated for up to a week or longer during the Great Flood of 2016.

Inundation significantly weakens the strength of the base and sub-base on a road, according to specifications from the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation.

“They all say the same thing – fifty percent or more of the strength is lost,” Harrell said.

The total estimated price tag on the road work is $64,969, 599 for repairs  to the inundated roads.

The Louisiana FEMA office rejected the entire funding request of the project. Harrell said he will appeal the decision to the regional office in Denton, Texas.

The Texas office will examine the project more closely, Harrell said. A rejection by the Denton office would send the appeal to Washington, where the final decision would be made.  

“If the final decision rests on Washington, I’m going with it … I’m ready,” Harrell said.”

Most projects with a price tag of more than $1 million rarely receive approval on the state level, and the chances are not much greater in Texas, he said.

“The final decision will more than likely come from Washington,” Harrell said. 

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