It’s been two years since the devastating August 2016 flood that caused over 8-billion dollars in property damage and claimed 13 lives across south Louisiana. The floods led to billions of dollars in federal assistance, including hundreds of millions to help victims rebuild their homes.

Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks says the recovery is about 85% complete in his parish.

“We have been very blessed over the past two years, believe it or not despite the severity of the flood waters that we experienced. I think it just shows the resiliency of all the business owners, but certainly the people that rose in Livingston Parish.”

The flood impacted 15 schools across Livingston parish, delaying school years and putting children at risk of missing crucial educational days. Ricks says two years later, thirteen of those schools have been fully repaired.

“We are down to two now that need to be prepared and FEMA has now finally signed off on granting the school board permission to get those going so hopefully in the next several months those two will be brought back up to par.”

The hundred year flood was enough to convince the feds that the area was in desperate need of flood control projects, many of which had been delayed for decades. A 1.5 billion dollar package was approved that will target issues across southern Louisiana, including the Comite River diversion, which Ricks says will relieve some of the drainage pressure on Livingston Parish.

“Where it will make a difference is flowing all that water down the Amite and going over into the Mississippi and try to get some relief for the southern part of our parish.”

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