Rep. C. Denise Marcelle hosts flood recovery town hall meeting

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle hosted a town hall meeting at Gus Young Park Gym Tuesday which featured representatives from the governor's office, attorney general's office, FEMA, and others.

Katherine Washington, who lives in Marcelle's district, says living inches from her home for the past nine months has not been easy.

"It's small and you have to you know, improvise a lot of stuff," said Washington.

Washington's Eleanor Drive home took on six feet of water almost a year ago and the 59-year-old Howell Park at Claiborne pre-K teacher says she is desperate to get out of the FEMA trailer and back inside.

"Sometimes it's hard for me to come up in here and just see what I had and what I don't have but one thing that I do still have is my life and I still have my kids' lives and I thank God for that," she added.

Her first day back to school is Wednesday, August 8, and above anything she wants to put on a brave face for her students, many of which she says also lost a lot.

"I need to do something to keep my mind from thinking about all this other stuff going on," said Washington.

While the work in her home is just about 70 percent complete, she considers herself one of the lucky ones because she did not have to worry about the contractor handling her project because he happens to be her husband.

"I consider myself one of the blessed ones fortunate enough to have a husband who knows how to do this kind of work but also I can watch the progress as it's being rebuilt," Washington said.

She hopes to be back in her home by the end of the year. Washington says she got money from FEMA but says it is not enough. She is one of the thousands who have signed up for the Restore Louisiana program but still waiting for a response.

The money is getting low but we're doing what we can do," Washington added.

Marcelle hosted the town hall for people in a similar situation to try and connect her constituents with resources.

"It's just a wealth of knowledge that we've brought together here to the community so that they would know how to be assisted," said Marcelle.

Marcelle admits recovery is slow-going in the area she represents but hopes people will keep going.

"They've been through a lot and I think it's important that I do everything I can to assist the people that I serve," Marcelle added.

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