Flood recovery for homeowners in Central a slow process

BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - Central Mayor Junior Shelton says it's been a challenge for many homeowners in his city to get back on their feet, slower than in other areas.

Central was hit particularly hard during the August flood, so much so he says, many residents are just now starting to clean and gut their homes. "These things come in waves, as we're beginning to see," Shelton said. "Some people were able to get in and gut their homes right away because they did have the manpower or the money to do it. Others, because of whatever situation they were in economically family wise didn't have the people or money to get in and get some things done."

Shelton says roughly nine thousand homes were damaged, one of those belongs to Linda Primeaux who lives in a small neighborhood next to Hooper Road.

She moved back into her house last Friday, with just the bare necessities. "We don't have our cabinets," Linda Primeaux said. "We don't have furniture with the exception of a dining room set that a friend gave to us over the weekend... but it's home, so we're happy."

She says many people she knows have had trouble finding the money to hire help, so they've either turned to friends or taken on the work load themselves. "Everyone is different, I just know that we have done a lot of the work ourselves but even though we're not to the point where our house is complete and it's gonna be a long time before that happens, we're just grateful to be back in," Primeaux said.

Elaine Ellis and her husband Randy are from South Baton Rouge. They were in Central today helping a friend repair her home.

They say they've noticed Central has bounced back a little slower than in their neighborhood. "There's a lot left to do in Central," Ellis said. "I don't think people realize that. But hopefully the debris will be gone and people can get started." Mayor Shelton says the good news is that Central's business district did not take on a lot of water, and tax revenue is actually up.

He says the city officials will do everything they can to get homeowners back into their houses.

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