GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - People desperate for help after the August flood were given the opportunity to have their questions answered at a public meeting hosted by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy. Among them was a Prairieville man who lost 17 houses in the flood.
Roger and Cheryl Broussard said the flood pushed two feet of water inside their house of 44 years.
"It's been real bad," Broussard said.
The Broussards took advantage of the state's Shelter at Home Program, but Roger said it has not gotten them far. They have a sink and a toilet but only had enough money to rebuild two bedrooms. To make matters worse, Broussard said he owns 17 rental properties. All but one of them flooded.
"My whole life I've been taking my money and putting it into rent houses. All that was gone in one weekend," Broussard said.
After being turned away for financial help from the government, the Broussards joined other Ascension Parish residents at a town hall meeting hoping to get some guidance from U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy.
"I was driving up today and noticing how much water was on the streets. So, obviously, we have some problems, right," Cassidy said.
Cassidy encouraged everyone to fill out the state flood assistance survey, even if they had flood coverage in August. Meantime, the Senator said he is working on a bill that would revamp the current National Flood Insurance Program to help fund projects like the long-awaited Comite-Diversion Canal Project.
"In there, one of the things we say is, right now if our government spends $210 million a year on flood mitigation projects that would increase that $210 million per year to $400 million per year," Cassidy said.
He said some of that money could also be used to improve levees and drainage projects in ascension and surrounding parishes. Cassidy said his goal is to help prevent floods and avoid making disaster payments in the future.
For now Cassidy said folks, like the Broussards, can turn to him for help.
"If they have something particular they need help with, they can call my office," Cassidy said.
He also appeared on 9News This Morning on Wednesday to share more information about the flood and healthcare.
The number to Senator Cassidy's Baton Rouge office is (225) 929-7711.