Sept. 26, 2016



NEWS DESK: 225-382-1607

SBA: 916-764-9918

News Release

Debris Removal Continues; Now More than 50 Percent Complete


BATON ROUGE, La. – Recovery officials estimate that recent flooding left 4.8 million cubic yards or 80,000 truckloads of debris in its wake. Removal of that debris is an important sign of progress in disaster recovery, but it takes time. On Sept. 25, debris removal hit the 55-percent completion mark.


For the August flooding, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program will reimburse eligible Louisiana jurisdictions 90 percent of reasonable costs involved in debris removal. To receive reimbursement for debris removal, a local jurisdiction must be eligible for the program and have the legal authority to remove debris from public rights-of-way.


Reasonable costs include overtime for full-time employees as well as contractor fees for removal, disposal, recycling and/or monitoring. (The contract must have been competitively bid and comply with state, federal and local standards.)


In general, private property debris removal is not eligible for FEMA reimbursement under the law. However, because of the large amount of debris, the threat it posed to human health and safety, and the lack of right-of-way to deposit debris FEMA has expanded curbside debris removal for the recent Louisiana flooding. Property owners who have questions should contact their local emergency manager. Before anyone can go onto private property, the local jurisdiction must have a sworn statement of permission from the property owner to remove debris.


Recovery officials encourage people to continue sorting debris into categories and moving it to the curbside. The categories are household garbage; construction debris; vegetative debris; household hazardous waste; white goods (i.e., washing machines, refrigerators, etc.); and electronics.


Separating debris will speed recovery. However, recovery officials want to remind everyone to be safe, especially during ongoing debris removal operations. The sight of heavy trucks hauling debris may seem familiar, but it is vital to follow safety guidelines at all times around debris and heavy equipment.


Monitor DOTD’s website for updated road closure information. You can find the latest information on the state’s response at GOHSEP also provides information on Facebook and Twitter. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. You can also download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at


Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status.  If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY, call 800-462-7585. If you use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 800-621-3362.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.  Follow us on Twitter at and the FEMA Blog at


The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is the federal government’s primary source of money for the long-term rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. SBA helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property. These disaster loans cover losses not fully compensated by insurance or other recoveries and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. For more information, applicants may contact SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center by calling 800-659-2955, emailing, or visiting SBA’s website at Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals may call 800-877-8339.







External Affairs

News Desk: 225-382-1607