Lake Charles Mayor Heads To Washington To Seek Hurricane Aid

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The mayor of a southwest Louisiana city recovering from back-to-back blows from Hurricanes Laura and Delta is in Washington hoping to persuade federal officials to steer more aid to the region where rebuilding is sputtering.

The Advocate reports that Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter arrived in the nation’s capital Tuesday and will remain until Friday to hold meetings, including with White House officials, in his continuing bid to obtain disaster assistance for a severe housing shortage and other needs from Laura.

The disaster was compounded by Hurricane Delta, which followed a similar path around six weeks later, as well as a winter storm in February and major flooding in May.

“We continue to receive comments of support and gestures of support,” Hunter told the newspaper in a phone interview from Washington. “But at this juncture, we need more than warm words and pats on the back. We need a materialization of aid. We need a tangible result.”

Legislation must be passed to allocate federal disaster block grant aid beyond the relief available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Lake Charles officials estimate that between 3,000 and 5,000 city residents remain displaced from the string of disasters — amounting to potentially as much as 6% of the population.