Federal authorities announced Friday that local governments in eight Louisiana parishes and some nonprofit agencies are eligible for federal help to cover expenses caused by Tropical Storm Lee.
The storm did not cause enough damage to homes, require enough people to evacuate or reach other pre-set thresholds that would have triggered federal assistance for individuals in Louisiana, said Mark Riley, chief of staff of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, known as GOHSEP.
But state and federal analysts estimated disaster-related expenses were high enough - about $7.4 million - for governments and some nonprofits in eight parishes to receive federal help, Riley said Friday.
Local governments and nonprofit agencies will be paid 75 percent of their actual expenses, Riley said.
Tropical Storm Lee developed in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 1 and came ashore on Sept. 4 after dumping much rain and flooding many streets in south Louisiana.
President Barack Obama on Friday signed the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration that made assistance funds available in East and West Feliciana, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Terrebonne parishes.
Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday in a prepared statement: "These public assistance funds will help our communities rebuild and repair infrastructure damaged from the storm."
Overtime and emergency personnel costs accounted for about $5.8 million of the total estimated expenses, according to GOHSEP records.
Jefferson Parish had the highest damage estimates at nearly $2 million, mostly for the additional costs of firefighters, police officers and other personnel during the emergency, the GOHSEP records show. Federal and state teams estimated that Jefferson Parish also needed about $54,000 for debris cleanup, $130,000 to repair roads and bridges, plus another $133,000 to fix public buildings and public utilities infrastructure, according to GOHSEP.
East Feliciana Parish needs an estimated $96,766 for emergency personnel, while West Feliciana Parish suffered about $285,000 for damage to public utilities infrastructure.
William J. Doran III, was named the federal coordinating officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area, according to the announcement by U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. Doran said in a prepared statement that additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.