As Governor of Louisiana, I’ve had the privilege of leading our people through good times and bad. As you’re aware, a thousand-year flood in August challenged thousands of South Louisiana families to the core as we experienced the costliest natural disaster on U.S. soil since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The August flood came on the heels of a record-setting flood that impacted the entire state of Louisiana five months prior. The good news is that we are coming back stronger than before because the people of Louisiana are resilient.
There are two key things I want you to know about our recovery.
1. Our business backbone is strong. The major economic driver employers in our state experienced limited impact. Our infrastructure is sound, and all major business functions, ports, airports, highways, railways and pipelines are operating at a high level.
2. After three trips to Washington, D.C., to advocate for critical flood recovery funding with a bipartisan group of elected officials, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution that included a $500 million down payment on that assistance, with a little more than $400 million expected to come to Louisiana. We still have work to do to pass a comprehensive flood-relief package when Congress returns after the election, but I am confident we can get it done by working together.
We continue to offer the nation’s best workforce development program, LED FastStart®, superior sites, powerful infrastructure and the most responsive state government you are likely to find anywhere in the world.
With ardent support from all of our federal partners, with faithful support from churches and nonprofits, and with the life-saving support of our first responders and the “Cajun Navy” of neighbors helping neighbors, we are emerging from a disastrous flood with a renewed sense of purpose, hope and gratitude. Louisiana is a wonderful place to live and work, and we’ve been encouraged by the many companies who’ve come to the aid of their employees in so many ways.
This is my opportunity to say thank you to each one of you for your gifts, prayers and expressions of good will. We are forever grateful for your kindness and generosity.
Life is returning to normal in Louisiana. Our Shelter at Home program has helped thousands of families return to their homes sooner as they complete their rebuilding projects. Small businesses are restoring their operations, and fortunately the overwhelming majority of our larger companies experienced limited or no curtailment of operations during the disaster.
If you already do business in Louisiana, we thank you and ask that you continue your important work here. If you’re contemplating a new project, let me confidently assure you that there is no better place for your future operations than Louisiana. In Louisiana, we deliver effective, custom-fit solutions for business. Stop by our economic development website, OpportunityLouisiana.com, and we think you’ll agree: Louisiana works for you.
John Bel Edwards
Governor, State of Louisiana