Much has been done, but more work is needed.  That is the conclusion of The Louisiana Recovery Office as the anniversary of Hurricane Rita approaches on Monday.  It has been seven years since the storm made landfall on the gulf coast on September 24th, 2005.

Around 1.3 billion dollars in Federal Emergency Management Agency money has been spent since that time to try to make people, businesses and public facilities whole again.  Much of that money was also spent on hazard mitigation, meaning that Louisiana property owners could raise their properties higher off the ground.

FEMA's Louisiana Recovery Office Executive Director Joseph Threat said,

While Hurricane Katrina and more recently Hurricane Isaac tend to headline Louisiana's natural disaster timeline, FEMA understands that communities in the southwestern part of the state think of Hurricane Rita when it comes to devastating storms.  Just seven years ago, these communities were greatly impacted by Rita's landfall and are still recovering today.

FEMA made around $671.8 million in public assistance grants for Hurricane Rita-related projects in Louisiana.  That money paid for things like debris removal, repair to public facilities and emergency protective measures.  Close to 50 percent of that money was spent in Cameron, Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes.

Threat said,

The local officials and residents within these communities have worked together, in partnership with the state and FEMA, to rebuild their neighborhoods. Their success stories and recovery accomplishments to date speak to their resiliency and dedication to restoring Louisiana.

For more information about Louisiana's ongoing recovery efforts, visit