US Senator Bill Cassidy announced today that Louisiana has been included in a bill that contains $500 million dollars in federal disaster relief. The Governor requested $2.8 billion. Cassidy referred to the half billion as a down payment.

"But the state in the meantime can bring immediate relief, in the form of community development block grants, to those who are still struggling to recover from the flood," said Cassidy."

Governor Edwards issued a statement saying he is hopeful and optimistic that the final version of this bill will include this assistance.

Cassidy said it's actually a good thing that they are not getting the full amount now, because the fund that this money is coming from is limited in what it can be used for.

"It can be used for homeowners. It can be used to get people back to work again," said Cassidy. "But it can not be used for flood mitigation."

Cassidy says Louisiana's relief is coming from two pots of money, this is the first and the second is coming in December. Some of this funding could go to other states, but Cassidy is confident the majority will go to Louisiana. He says as soon as this is passed, the money will be available to the state.

"And I know the state is working hard to put together a mechanism as to how to use the money," said Cassidy. "So I'm sure it will be within several weeks."

The flood aid for Louisiana is contained in legislation that would prevent a government shutdown and it must be approved by next Friday at midnight.