Flood Damage At Least $110M To LA Ag, 115K Register For Federal Disaster Aid

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The LSU AgCenter estimates that the floods in south Louisiana have caused at least $110 million worth of damage to agriculture — and the figure is likely to grow.

         Economist Kurt Guidry says in a news release that factors include damage to crop yield and quality, damage to infrastructure and loss of stored commodities. He says typical summer rains could slow the fall of floodwaters, delaying harvest and doing even more damage.

         Guidry says few soybeans were harvested before the floods, and that crop has about $46 million in known damage.

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         He says rice is likely to take a $33 million hit, corn $10 million and sugarcane at least $3 million.

         Guidry says livestock deaths are not yet clear. He says reduced pasture and forage will cost producers nearly $2 million.

         More than 2,500 people remain in shelters a week after the devastating flooding that wrecked homes across south Louisiana.

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         The Department of Children and Family Services announced the latest figure Monday.

         The storm and its flooding have damaged an estimated 60,000 homes and forced thousands to seek temporary housing with relatives, friends or shelters.

         More than 115,000 people across south Louisiana have signed up for federal disaster assistance after the catastrophic flooding.

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         State officials say $20 million in FEMA homeowner assistance had been distributed as of Tuesday.

         At least 40 state highways remained closed.

         The grace period for renewing flood insurance policies in south Louisiana parishes heavily damaged by flooding has been extended to 120 days.

         FEMA announced the extension Monday, saying it gives policyholders "one less thing to worry about" while they're trying to repair homes and respond to the disaster.

         Usually, homeowners have 30 days from when coverage ends to renew their insurance policies under the National Flood Insurance Program.

         The 120-day grace period applies to the 20 parishes included in the federal disaster declaration. The extension applies to flood insurance policies with a 30-day grace period that ends sometime between Aug. 11 and Sept. 10.

         FEMA says more than 26,000 flood insurance policyholders have submitted claims for losses during Louisiana's catastrophic flooding so far.

         The state is urging people to help those with damage muck out their homes.

         Volunteers can register here



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