Last week, I had the pleasure of celebrating a momentous event - a ribbon cutting for the first completed, FEMA-funded school in Plaquemines Parish, our Learning Center in Port Sulphur, La. Designed as a safe-haven for students with challenges, the Learning Center fulfills an important, state-mandated need for the residents of our Parish.
Like much of the Gulf Coast, Plaquemines was hit hard by Katrina, and the hurricane destroyed not one, not two, but five of the schools we have here. However, with the help of FEMA and the state, I can proudly say that we are building back better than before, creating elevated, storm-resistant buildings that will last us for generations.
Every day, people see the pilings being driven, and I receive phone calls from former residents saying they are returning to Plaquemines - they are bringing their children home. Our children will soon be learning in state-of-the-art schools. I cannot stress enough that this is the result of the greatest working relationship with FEMA I’ve ever known. They have worked unbelievably hard to help us rebuild something so critical to our community.
Learn more about FEMA’s ongoing recovery efforts to hurricanes Katrina and Rita and our Louisiana Recovery Office.
Editor’s Note: As Administrator Fugate pointed out in his inaugural blog post, this blog is a way for us to directly communicate with other members of the emergency management team, a team that includes the local leaders. The post above is from our first guest contributor, Denis Rousselle, the Plaquemines Parish School Board Superintendent.
Port Sulphur, LA, January 10, 2011 -- FEMA staff recently participated in the dedication of the newly rebuilt Plaquemines Parish School Board Learning Center. FEMA provided over $6.2 million in public assistance grants to rebuild this unique educational facility that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Photo by Ray Perez/FEMA.