VERMILION PARISH, La. (KLFY) – U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge) has announced that the state would be receiving over $156 million in federal money for Hurricane prevention, with a large part of that coming to Acadiana.

Among the many parishes slated to get money from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, Vermilion Parish will receive $1.6 million to help with coastal restoration, hurricane protection and flooding control projects. 

“It’s important. I’m excited. Economic development is excited and I know. I feel confident in speaking on behalf of the parish that any coastal restoration and protection, hurricane protection dollar, is greatly appreciated,” said Victoria Bourque, the Program Administrator of the Vermilion Economic Development Alliance. 

She adds, “Coastal restoration and protection is critical for Vermilion Parish, as well as our neighboring northern parishes. These GOMESA dollars assist in funding projects aimed at creating necessary layers of both restoration of coastal land, which is our first line of defense while adding protection measures to our communities, businesses, infrastructure, assets, and more.” 

Although the parish has received GOMESHA dollars for several years, Bourque said, “I speak on behalf of economic development, but in that space, one of the things that we as economic development are concerned about are businesses, both the ones we have already established and potential new ones that we were hoping to establish in our parish but also the quality of life and with that comes concerns of insurance and different things like that.” 

She continues, “So whenever you consider an investment to enhance not only our own coastlines but the region of Lafayette and surrounding areas as well, that’s a huge win, and to think of us getting that investment on a consistent basis as an annual, we could not be more appreciative of the leadership that we have on both the local, state, and federal levels who are out there working tirelessly to get these dollars for us here locally.” 

News 10 spoke with Homer Stelly, the Director of the Office for Emergency Preparedness in the Vermilion Parish. He said on May 17, there was a hurricane update briefing. He said all residents need to have a game plan.

“One of the biggest things you should ask yourself as a resident is what if? What if I lose power? or lose services, and I can’t get out. What would I do for me and my family to get out of harm’s way so I suggest you get a game,” he said. “Right now, everybody’s probably got their guard down right now because it’s been a while since the hurricane hit Vermilion Parish directly, but we get one that hits like hurricane Ida did the east side of the state, then I’m afraid, and the residents are not prepared to face something of that destruction that hurricane Ida brought to the inside of the state.” 

He suggested residents download the free app GOHSEP has called the Get A Game Plan’ App, which prepares you for every disaster that might hit Vermilion Parish.

On June 7 at 4:30 p.m., the Vermilion Parish Coastal Protection and Restoration Committee has a meeting before the Police Jury meeting. 

Other parishes slated to receive GOMESA money include:

  • Calcasieu Parish – $1,690,097.29
  • Iberia Parish – $1,615,511.29
  • St. Martin Parish – $1,152,100.17
  • St. Mary Parish – $1,339,636.31