ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - It's been nearly a month since Leroy Shanklin and wife, Juanita, have had a mobile housing unit, or MHU, sitting in their front yard, but they can't get into it.
"I've had an empty trailer sitting in my yard for four weeks," Leroy Shanklin said.
The Shanklins' home on Old Scenic Highway of 35 years in Zachary has been gutted and awaits a contractor. Leroy Shanklin said FEMA delivered the MHU on November 10, but since then, he added no one has come by or returned their calls. The couple is living with Leroy's mom in East Feliciana Parish.
"I'm living out of suitcase. I got a few clothes that I got with me and you just kind of keep washing those clothes and everything," Leroy Shanklin explained.
He calls FEMA every day and did so in front of us Tuesday.
"I was calling about my trailer in Zachary, Louisiana. I wanted to know why no one come out to hook it up," Leroy Shanklin said on the call.
He was told by representatives that they would forward his case up the chain to the supervisors.
"That's the song I've been getting. They're going to send it up and check the status of it," Leroy Shanklin said.
Then, WAFB called FEMA.
Why has this trailer been sitting on their property for the past month and they can't live in it?
Just a few minutes later, a contractor drove up the driveway, but left as soon as he saw the camera.
Minutes later, the Shanklins got their first call from FEMA, stating they were making sure the unit was on their property.
About an hour later, WAFB got a call back, stating FEMA could not discuss their case because it would violate the Shanklins' privacy and they were not familiar with exactly why it had not been hooked up, even though WAFB is who told them what the issue was.
They are told that the water, sewage, electricity all need to be hooked up and that the stairs need to be put on.
So, why has it taken a month? Again, we're told that FEMA wouldn't discuss this case, but about two hours later, we found a guy locating underground utilities and marking them off in preparation for new service.
"At least they came out and did that and that may have been the hold up. I feel great just to see someone. It's a smile on my face. I'm very thankful Channel 9," Leroy Shanklin said.
He already set up a separate utility account before he even received the unit. We'll keep you updated on when the Shanklins get inside their temporary home.