News Article

State allots over $5 million for buyout project to reduce local flood risk

Date:May 28, 2021
Published in:The News-Star

The state is awarding $5.2 million to fund voluntary residential buyouts in West Monroe in Watershed Region 3, which includes most of northeast Louisiana, according to a news release from the Louisiana Watershed Initiative.

In response to the floods in 2018, Gov. John Bel Edwards launched the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, which takes on a strategic and scientific approach to managing the watersheds and floodplains in the state and helps to target frequently flooded areas.

This project features grants to provide support for residents interested in relocating out of harm’s way so that they are not in homes that flood in the future.

“With this funding award, we can provide options for homeowners who want to move to higher and drier ground,” West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell said in the release. “We look forward to getting this effort underway, while working with the Louisiana Watershed Initiative to continue creating a more resilient region."

The buyout project advances the Louisiana Watershed Initiative’s long-term resilience objectives and is funded through a $1.2 billion federal mitigation grant the state received access to last September.

The state announced this project Thursday, along with statewide Round 1 projects that were awarded funding.

Round 1 projects that were not awarded money this week will move on to the regional selection process. As part of this process, each region may select up to $5 million in projects to recommend for funding this summer.