Single mother of 4 struggles to rebuild following two weather disasters

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - In Zachary, a single mother of four has all but given up on recovering from the August 2016 flood. She has hit a wall at every turn and is now living apart from her children.

Dosha Banguel is not your typical flood victim. When the rain poured down in August, the water didn't come in through the floor. She says it came in through the roof. "I went to peek out of the window one day and I pressed against [the wall] and my hand went through," said Banguel.

The water saturated her ceilings, walls, and floors. Her entire house is now down to the studs. She says her insurance company sent her a check for $1,000, but it was hardly enough to cover the damage. To make matters worse, in January, her neighbor's tree crushed her roof.

"A month ago, I got the hole out of my roof because someone told him [a volunteer] to come out here," said Banguel.

Banguel says a local church donated sheetrock and some of the materials to rebuild, but she needs help with installation. The former nurse became ill and had to quit her job. She is still living in the damaged home, but her four children, two of them wheelchair-bound, have gone to live with their grandmother. Banguel has applied for federal and state assistance, but says it's been hard to come by.]

"Even though, because of my health, I am not able to provide the income for my children that I used to, I still have a voice," said Banguel.

Her high school friend, Mindy Slaughter, says she saw her cry for help on Facebook and came to the rescue.

"She was reaching out to so many people and everything was being either denied or prolonged or caught up in red tape or just wasn't getting done," said Slaughter.

Slaughter says she has even put up some of her own money to help, but now she has realized she's in way over her head. "It's hard, really hard, when you want to help somebody and you just don't have the way," said Slaughter.

Banguel says she's not looking for a hand out. Her request is simple, but it means the world to her family.

"I want my home straight, and I want my kids back home," said Banguel.

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