BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Shalot Robinson has lived on Winbourne Avenue in Baton Rouge for more than 30 years. She and her family evacuated her home in the early morning hours Saturday, as chest deep floodwater filled her neighborhood. Now, Robinson and her husband are working to clear the wreckage, but at the end of a hard day's work, they have nowhere to go.
"We've basically been staying in the truck, staying between my daughter's or my brother's house, or anywhere we can lay our head down at," said Robinson.
The Robinsons represent nearly 4,000 people statewide who are still in shelters, and the tens of thousands of homeowners washed out by the flooding. However, one week after the waters set in, the governor's office announced a plan for temporary housing.
"We're working as hard as we can to get the plan right so we do not have to back track and so that the assistance we provide is meaningful," said Gov. John Bel Edwards.
The governor's office announced two options for temporary housing. The first is Temporary Shelter Assistance or TSA. This program provides a hotel room for people who are currently registered with FEMA, and who have indicated they are staying in a car, a shelter, a hotel, or a place of employment. In other words, the TSA program is for people with the most critical need for shelter.
"If you selected one of those categories when registering, FEMA will automatically call you beginning today and direct you to a website
with information on available hotels and how to arrange a room," said Edwards.
The second option is finding a rental property. Anyone displaced by flooding can go to lahousingsearch.org and find an available property. The governor is also asking anyone with vacant rental property to sign up to help out as well.
"There are people who desperately need access to your housing units and I'm asking that you cooperate with us and make your room available," said Edwards.
Edwards added that plans for more long term housing will be announced next week. He said FEMA trailers are an option under consideration, but no decision has been made at this point.
While recovery is just beginning, knowing where to find a temporary home is a relief for many.
"It's all going to be well," said Robinson.
FEMA is issuing 30-day housing vouchers for eligible residents. Go to www.disasterassistance.gov to register. Before registering, make sure you have proof that you are living in a hotel, shelter, your vehicle or place of employment.