Four Regional Economic Development organizations in the hurricane impacted areas of Southeast and Southwest Louisiana have joined together to support efforts for a unified disaster aid appropriation for southeast and southwest Louisiana’s recovery. The four groups urge the U.S. Congress to join with the Louisiana Congressional Delegation to secure funding so the area can rebuild. In two years, Louisiana’s citizens and businesses located along the Gulf of Mexico have been devastated by Hurricanes: Laura (Category 4), Delta (Category 2), Zeta (Category 3), and Ida (Category 4).
Hurricane Ida and its trailing impacts have left most of Southeast Louisiana and the Northeast US devastated. The images of destruction and human suffering bring our thoughts back to the aftermath of Hurricanes Laura and Delta in Southwest Louisiana. Our region continues to rebuild and recover with thousands of houses still in disrepair. Lack of insurance settlements, lack of contractors, and lack of building supplies are adding to delays in rebuilding. Several thousand of our residents are still displaced because of lack of affordable housing. One positive note is that the businesses and homes being rebuilt in most cases are being strengthened and will be better and stronger than before.
Preliminary 2020 Census numbers show that Louisiana’s population increased by 2.7 percent to over 4.7 million people. Only 19 of the 64 parishes increased population or remained the same. The rest of the parishes lost population. The area of Southwest Louisiana increased 5.1 percent. In Calcasieu Parish, the total population went from 192,768 to 216,785.