$1.5B In La. Storm Recovery Aid Remains Unspent
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has yet to spend $1.5 billion of federal disaster recovery aid provided by Congress after hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike ravaged the state in 2005 and 2008.
The flexible block grant rebuilding and strengthening money remains set aside for infrastructure repairs, home rebuilding, school reconstruction and business assistance.
Nearly all of it is tied to specific projects, as efforts to navigate the bureaucratic hurdles of recovery stretch over years.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has defended the spending pace. Pat Forbes, Jindal's director for disaster recovery work, says his office is constantly reviewing unmet recovery needs to determine where money can be redirected.
The amount of unspent cash represents 10 percent of the $14.5 billion in Community Development Block Grant aid that Louisiana received from Congress after the storms.