Free seminars offer guidance for flood victims

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A series of public seminars in Livingston Parish has been planned to help victims still struggling after the August flood.

The questions in a meeting, held at Dutch Physical Therapy in Denham Springs Thursday night, were focused on helping residents make good decisions when dealing with contractors.

The topics ranged from everything from how to choose a good contractor to how to get out of an agreement if things go badly. It's one of many seminars scheduled over the next few weeks to help connect residents with services.

The event organizer, Philippe Veeters, says because so many people are still overwhelmed months after the disaster, it's critical to aid those in need.

"Everybody's still struggling with it and we heard from the mayor last week that the businesses bounced back fairly quickly and they expanded, but the residents are still having a lot of problems," said Veeters.

Brad Hassert with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors took on a lot of those questions Thursday night. He says oftentimes it's hard for folks to know where to start, especially after hearing so many horror stories.

"We tried to talk to them, basically about how they can go about rectifying or solving some of the problems they've had with the contractors specifically," said Hassert.

Hassert says his role at the seminar is to help as many people as he can, offering guidance and equipping them with information, something he says is the most valuable asset. "What we tried to do tonight is to point them in the right direction that we're aware of that they can get some additional assistance or some help," Hassert added.

"Stress levels went from here to here," said Zahid Mohammed.

Out of their home for eight months, some residents say they have gotten so much runaround it is hard to know which way is up.

"People that do this to people who have lost everything are just the most lowest individuals. I mean, it's just horrible," added Wendy Reed.

Many though left the meeting Thursday night optimistic about the way forward. "Seminars like this is going to help a lot of us out here and that's what we're going to take away from it, hope," said Mohammed.

Thursday's free seminar is one of several planned over the next few weeks. For more information about upcoming seminars, click here.

Copyright 2017 WAFB. All rights reserved.