Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is settling up on how much it will pay to repair streets and sewer lines in New Orleans. Officials say much more than roadways can benefit.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says FEMA has agreed to pay $2 billion for infrastructure repairs.
“These funds are going to be utilized throughout the roadway and subsurface infrastructure in the city. Every neighborhood in the city will benefit from it," Landrieu said.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate says the settlement does not mean the federal commitment is gone.
“This recovery is not complete and we still have work to do. This will be a large public works project. Not only is it going to be about fixing the roads. It’s going to be about putting New Orleans back to work,” Fugate said.
New Orleans Public Works Director Cedric Grant says the projects are substantial, and will take several years.
“What you’re about to see here is generational. We will be able to do more work over the next half-dozen years than we have done in a generation," Grant said.
Landrieu says the settlement amounts to a down payment on the $9 billion officials estimate is needed to fix all the streets. He says the community group Fix Our Streets will be working to pinpoint the street work that will be done, and explore ways to find even more money.