Assisting Lafourche Parish with Hurricane Ida Recovery

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Hurricane Ida caused billions of dollars in damages and Lafourche Parish was hit especially hard. This hurricane was just as strong as 2020’s Hurricane Laura, which was the strongest hurricane in Louisiana’s history in terms of sustained winds at landfall. Ida was the second-most damaging and intense hurricane to hit Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Recovery efforts in Lafourche Parish mainly involved massive debris removal and infrastructural repairs. Parish officials faced challenges when it came to securing the maximum amount of funding for Hurricane Ida recovery due to the significant compliance requirements that accompany federal grant allocations.

Customer challenge

Lafourche Parish needed a strategic consultant experienced in debris removal and grant administration to help them navigate federal disaster programs related to Hurricane Ida’s recovery effort.

Our solution

HGA is offering expert guidance to Lafourche Parish in relation to the FEMA Public Assistance (PA) program and the FEMA Private Property and Debris Removal (PPDR) and Demolition program. In addition, HGA has provided advanced technology to make the recovery process more efficient for disaster response by using GIS mapping, drone imagery, a call center system for residents, and database applications to track, report, and maintain documentation.

Value delivered

HGA is currently managing $150 million of FEMA Public Assistance funds for Lafourche Parish, which was impacted by Hurricane Ida. We are supporting the development of 100 Project Worksheets (PWs) to fund projects such as repairing damaged parish facilities. To address health and safety concerns arising due to the presence of debris on private properties and blighted areas, HGA introduced FEMA’s Private Property and Debris Removal (PPDR) and Demolition program. HGA was responsible for ensuring that all work performed adheres to FEMA PA guidelines and federal regulations. This involves monitoring debris removal operations and documenting the entire process from debris collection to final disposal.

We also acted as the fiscal liaison with state and federal agencies, and were able to secure reimbursement for the over $100 million in municipal bonds costs and the interest incurred during the wait for FEMA funds to arrive. HGA played a key role in establishing that financing costs under 2 C.F.R. § 200.449 are eligible for FEMA reimbursement. This is a significant achievement, not only for future governmental recovery financing, but also highlights the importance of strategic management to sustain eligibility over the bond’s lifespan. This showcases HGA’s dedication to innovative solutions in disaster recovery financing.