FEMA unit sits slanted, unused, over a ditch in front yard for 9 weeks

WALKER, LA (WAFB) - There's a three bedroom, fully furnished FEMA mobile housing unit (MHU) in Troy Willeford's front yard in Walker. It was delivered nine weeks ago, but to this day, Willeford is not able to use it.

"If you go in there right now, I've been in there like twice, just walked around and looked at it. It looks like you had one too many drinks. It's all leaning. There's no way you can live in right now, no way at all," said Willeford.

The MHU is unliveable because it's sitting on a slant, propped up on a culvert, and is sitting over a ditch. "A good little wind storm, there it goes. It'll fall open. It'll just fall over," said Willeford.

Willeford's home took on about four feet of water during the August flooding. The inside is gutted out. His wife and children are staying with family, but he has been house sitting since the flood. His makeshift bedroom includes a cot with a radio on one side and a bible on the other.

With just two days until the holiday, a toy tree is what's serving as his Christmas tree this year, right behind a notepad where he keeps detailed notes from all the times he has called FEMA. He said the first month after the MHU was delivered, people came out to hook it up, but could not because of the way it was left. He got so frustrated he just wanted it gone.

"It makes me angry for as long as this trailer's been sitting here that it's not being used by anybody, nobody," said Willeford.

Since then, he's called FEMA routinely, asking them to move the MHU to where his wife and children are staying so it can be put to use, but nine weeks later, it's still in his front yard. Willeford said he cannot get any answers from FEMA.

"One time, we called the people and the people said we don't even have any records of y'all having a FEMA trailer," said Willeford.

Willeford called FEMA in front of WAFB reporter, Kiran Chawla. "It's been here nine weeks and we've called I don't know how many times and we've asked to have it moved somewhere else," said Willeford.

He was put on hold and told someone would call him back. "That's how it is every time. We'll get somebody to call you back. Will they call me back? No, ridiculous," said Willeford.

Willeford said his wife and children living with family could use the unit, but he's at his wit's end with FEMA now.

"I hope this never happens again, but if it does, I hope FEMA is more prepared to handle a crisis like this because they haven't done a very good job at all," said Willeford.

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