Family flooded in 2016 hopeful they'll be home for the holidays

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Felicia Williams says like many others, in August of 2016, several feet of water forced her family out of their home. "I'm talking about heavy chairs from the dining room table were floating," Williams said. "It had things from the back of my house in the front. It was that bad."

A trailer still sits on her family's front lawn, so for the second year in a row, Christmas might be spent in a Manufactured Housing Unit (MHU), otherwise known as a FEMA trailer. Williams says she didn't think it would take this long to get back into her home. "It was unexpected. We just didn't know," Williams said. "Nobody knew that was going to happen, but it did."

Williams says she just recently started working on her Baton Rouge home after she claims her first contractor ran off with about $10,000. She says this time last year, it was hard to see the possibilities, but the recent renovations, like the installation of sheetrock and the plans to hang cabinets, give her a glimpse of hope that she might be home for the holidays.

For that reason, Williams says she's patiently waiting to hang Christmas decorations, but she's taking every day in stride. "One day at a time, that's all we can do it one day at a time," she said.

So whenever her family can move back in, whether it's before or after Christmas, she'll take it. "There's a light at the end of a tunnel. Yes, it's really shining. I can see it," she said.

FEMA just recently extended the temporary housing program. Families can now stay in the trailers until May 15, 2018, however occupants will have to start paying rent on March 1, 2018.

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