Gov. John Bel Edwards gets update on Louisiana Tech tornado recovery

Gov. John Bel Edwards tours tornado recovery aftermath
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RUSTON,La (KNOE) - Louisiana Tech is still recovering after an EF-3 tornado ripped through Ruston last month.

Governor John Bel Edwards visited Louisiana Tech's campus Monday to see how the campus is coming along.

"The extent of the damage, if anything, is actually more visible today because it's uncluttered by the trees. So it's a remarkable amount of damage,” said Edwards at a press conference.

While the damage is severe, Edwards said it could have been worse.

"The fact that we could sustain this much damage across this much area on campus and off campus. Including residential housing units here on campus and only have 2 lives lost is remarkable and we should all be thankful for that,” said Edwards.

Louisiana Tech's campus still has about 5.2 million dollars in damages after insurance.

As for the rest of Lincoln Parish, Governor Edwards said it got the brunt of the storm.

"Several hundred more homes were destroyed and had damage that was classified as either major, minor or that the homes were affected,” said Edwards.

Commercial offices in the parish are around 5.6 million dollars to 86 different properties.

Governor Edwards said the state will be calling on the federal government to help carry the financial load.

“Should the president honor the request for assistance from the federal government that they would pay 75 cents of the dollar towards fixing the damage and we will take care of the other 25 cents,” said Edwards.

That request also includes aid for families and businesses affected by the storm.

“It could entail rental assistance, limited repair costs to make a residence habitable meaning safe secure and sanitary. It would make available small business administration disaster loans,” said Edwards.

If the federal government approves the state’s request, individuals will be eligible for a low-interest loan via the Small Business Administration.