May 25—Nearly 700 homes and businesses in East Baton Rouge Parish have reported flood and wind from last week when more than a foot of rain fell in just a few hours in some places, the city-parish said Monday.
But that number is still likely lower than the real total, and officials encourage residents who sustained damage to their property from the storm to report it.
"It's very important for everyone to fill out the online Damage Assessment Survey," said city-parish spokesman Mark Armstrong.
Armstrong said the city-parish was made aware of 693 damaged structures as of Monday morning.
Some 13 inches of rain fell in parts of Baton Rouge overnight. The southeastern part of the parish was hit particularly hard. Driving rain overwhelmed storm drains, caused street flooding in the area and damaged homes, cars and businesses.
Those filling out the survey will be asked for clear photos of the property damage, as well as photos of the whole area, Armstrong said.
At stake is millions of dollars in disaster recovery money, state and local officials say.
A federal disaster declaration for the state of Louisiana — which would cut away red tape and provide residents access to U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency money — has not yet been declared by President Joe Biden.
FEMA officials are currently assessing the extent of the damage in Baton Rouge, as well as other parts of the state that flooded. The assessment allows officials to estimate the cost of the damage to uninsured property, which must be included in a federal disaster declaration request from Edwards' office, FEMA spokesman Gerard Hammink explained.
FEMA requires a federal disaster request to be submitted within 30 days of the end of the event, according to the agency's website.
Flood victims covered by insurance will not be eligible for individual grants through FEMA if a federal disaster is declared, Hammink said, but homeowners and renters may be eligible for other types of federal assistance.
Debris removal, emergency protection and equipment, among other measures, can also be provided to the state after a federal disaster declaration.
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