Floodwaters reach the front steps of a home near Holden, La., after heavy rains inundated the region, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Sunday that at least 7,000 people have been rescued so far. (Copyright 2016. AP Photo/Max Becherer. License restricted, photo may not be reused.)
The directors of the REALTORS® Relief Foundation announced today that they will provide up to $350,000 to help flood victims in South Louisiana. Record levels of flooding have caused widespread damage in the area. So far, the floods have killed 17 people and damaged an estimated 60,600 homes as well as businesses, including some real estate brokerages. The floods are being called a “1,000-year event,” having produced more than two feet of rain in some areas.
“We are experiencing historic flash flooding in places that have never flooded before, and most in those areas do not have flood insurance,” the Louisiana REALTORS® association website reads. About 20 percent of Louisiana homes reportedly are not covered by flood insurance.
Torrential rainfall pummeled South Louisiana starting Aug. 11. Within 48 hours, areas of East Baton Rouge, Livingston, and St. Helena received two feet of rain. The rainfall has led to six rivers in the area reaching record levels.
“Hundreds of thousands of businesses and residences have been affected by the floods, and we know of some real estate brokerages that are underwater too,” says Norman Morris, CEO of the Louisiana REALTORS® association. “It’s a tough time, but our REALTORS® are very resilient, and they will work hard to come back stronger. We’re going to do everything we can to provide financial support as well as other resources to our REALTORS® in need, as well as community members in need.”
The association, as a first-line response, provided gift cards to some REALTORS® in the area who had lost their homes and were in need of immediate basic supplies, like toiletries. The association will soon be disbursing RRF funds to those with damage to their homes. It also plans to open up its offices for those REALTORS® who need a temporary office to work from.
“For some, they had to walk away and now have nothing,” Morris says. “The outpouring of support from the REALTOR® community has been fantastic. National, state, and local associations all across the country have been tremendously supportive, and we’re very appreciative of that. Every little bit helps. We’re now focused on helping our neighbors, working together, and moving forward.”
The REALTORS® Relief Foundation was established by the National Association of REALTORS® in 2001 to provide housing-related assistance to victims of natural or man-made disasters. Since its launch, RRF has raised more than $25 million for victims of disasters, such as wildfires, floods, tornados, and hurricanes.
Source: REALTOR® Magazine