AP Wire

$2B in damage to LA. businesses blamed on flooding

by The Associated Press

Louisiana's state economic development agency says August's devastating flooding caused more than $2 billion in damage to businesses.

The office, known as LED, commissioned a damage assessment and released the findings of Friday, saying more than 6,000 businesses in 22 parishes took in floodwaters.

LED estimates nearly 20,000 businesses' operations were interrupted. The agency says at the peak of the flooding, about 278,000 Louisiana residents couldn't work because of office closures, business operation suspensions, transportation problems or other disruptions.

Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration says the flooding caused at least $8.7 billion in damage to residential and commercial property, an estimate expected to grow larger when public property damages are tallied.

Edwards is asking Congress for $2 billion in additional disaster aid, on top of other ongoing federal assistance programs.