Today, President Joseph R. Biden approved Governor John Bel Edwards’ request for a federal emergency declaration for all 64 Louisiana parishes impacted by the severe and historic winter weather. Specifically, FEMA will provide emergency protective measures (Category B) for mass care and sheltering and direct federal assistance from federal agencies.
“I’m thankful to the Biden administration for a swift response to my request as our state continues to deal with the bitterly cold temperatures as well as power and water outages that are causing extreme challenges for so many of our citizens and have already claimed three lives,” said Gov. Edwards. “While the second storm has passed through our state, unfortunately, some areas are still facing freeze warnings and we will not begin to truly thaw out until the latter part of the weekend. That is why this assistance from our federal partners is critical. It will help provide much needed relief. This has been a very tough week. In addition to dealing with the historic weather, we are still battling the pandemic. Although our resilience is being tested once again, we are going to get through this. I want to encourage everyone to continue to heed the warnings of your local officials, be very careful in supplementing heat to your homes, be vigilant when you get on the roadways and pay close attention to the weather forecasts where you live.”
Yesterday, Gov. Edwards sent a letter requesting direct federal assistance, specifically commodities and supplies in response to the extended power outage and also Emergency Protective measures under the FEMA Public Assistance program.
Severe weather started in Louisiana on February 11, 2021, with a second round of storms beginning on February 17, 2021. More than 200,000 people were without power on the morning of February 16, 2021 and as of noon on Thursday, February 18, 124,738 Louisiana households were still without power. In addition, there are 98 water outages impacting 245,676 people. In addition, more than 956,000 Louisianans live in areas with boil water advisories.