Thursday, August 25th
NONSTOP TRAGEDIES IN LOUISIANA!
An old out-of-state friend called to touch base, and asked,
“how are y’all doing down there?” I told him we were hanging in there, in spite
of what seems to be one confrontation and tragedy after another. Of course you
have to be optimistic about the future, but there have been some trying times
in recent months, and a long way to go towards recovery in many parts of
I told my friend we are still recovering from racial strife
after a number of killings, including three police officers just a few blocks
from where I live.
A community dialogue
began, which was a positive sign, with numerous community and political leaders
joining in. And then it started to rain.
Now, it rains a lot this time of year in South
Afternoon showers are part of
our late summer’s DNA. But it didn’t stop. The water poured down around the
clock for 10 straight days. Canals and tributaries quickly filled in and backed
up, overflowing their banks. Homeowners who had never experienced flood water
in their lifetimes made a run for safety wading or boating out of their
And Mother Nature just doesn’t want to quit.
A potential hurricane is heading toward the
Gulf right now with storm season hovering around Louisiana for weeks to
The state just cannot seem to get
And there are so many
unanswered questions concerning how homeowners can get back on their feet.
Flooding problems have become a statewide issue and a
challenge for a statewide response by the Governor and other political
North Louisiana has experienced
recent widespread flooding, damaging thousands of homes and flooding the
interstate south of Shreveport.
recent downpours of rain spanned an overflow of water from the Texas line to a
wide expanse north and south of I-10 to the Mississippi border.
So now the hard work of recovery begins.
How much will FEMA initially pay to flood
victims who have suffered major damage to their homes?
And what about the thousands of homes without
Will Congress give them
a break even though three members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation,
including House Majority Whip
Steve Scalise, voted against any flood relief for
Hurricane Sandy victims back in 2012?
FEMA and the Federal Flood insurance program drew up the
current flood zone maps, but they have not been updated in years. Should a
homeowner who lives outside a flood zone in an area that has never flooded
expect FEMA to shoulder some of the blame for not anticipating the deluge that
Neither the state nor
banking and mortgage companies have required flood insurance outside flood
zones. So why should a homeowner have to carry the entire financial burden for
And what about lenders who refuse to turn over flood
insurance checks to homeowners?
banks and other mortgage lenders will no doubt take the position that the home
may flood again, and they want their mortgage paid off.
What recourse does a homeowner have?
The best initial suggestion is for the Governor to appoint a
Louisiana Flood Recovery Commission to deal with a number of such flood related
problems. An organized lobbying effort in Washington, led by the Governor, is
Maybe visits and apologies to
congressional members form both New York and New Jersey would be in order, to
put aside any bitterness from Hurricane Sandy.
Should the state borrow money for recovery efforts?
Can it afford to because of Louisiana’s dire
state government financial condition?
Louisiana has proven to be resilient in the past.
But even an irrepressible populace can take
just so much. And that’s when strong and creative leadership is needed. It
would be an understatement to say that it’s crunch time in the Bayou State.
“A flood is cruel.
Everything you had is ruined and you can see every picture of your family and
children smeared and ruined. Everything you had is still there, but it’s
useless ― every bit of it. It’s cruel. I think I would have rather been wiped
out by a fire.”
Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout
the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns
and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownusa.com. You can also hear Jim’s
nationally syndicated radio show each Sunday morning from 9:00 am till 11:00 am
Central Time on the Genesis Radio Network, with a live stream at http://www.jimbrownusa.com.