BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A year and a half after flood waters seeped its way into homes on Tioga drive, homeowners are finally getting settled in.
"You never know what it's like to be homeless or out of a home," said flood victim and Baton Rouge resident Katie Moore. "You never know what it's like to lose everything. You can just only imagine."
Moore said the road to rebuilding her flood-damaged home was unimaginable, but she started tearing down soaked drywall just days after the water receded.
"The house was basically a shell," she said.
Just as Moore was trying to figure out her recovery process, Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge and The American Red Cross stepped in.
"I needed help with everything. The whole entire everything," Moore recalled. "They took my name, came in and basically rescued me."
The Red Cross raised $29.1 million for its immediate emergency efforts during the August 2016 floods, nearly 28% (roughly $8 million) was committed to individual emergency assistance and recovery. A portion of this was invested in Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge.
Moore said 6 months after the flood, though the work of volunteers, her home was livable.
"They started doing sheetrock and I was in here doing sheetrock too," she said. "I would go to work, get off work, come over here and work some more."
But Moore's efforts to get back home didn't stop at her front door, she also volunteered to fix her neighbor's home while her home was still unfinished. Moore said she felt compelled to help others.
Chris Andrews, from Rebuilding Together BR, said they not only wanted to restore homes but ignite lives again, completing the neighborhood project with 29 homes open and livable again.
"We were able to create a kind of synergy of energy for the neighborhood and bring people out get them to know one another," Andrews said.
In a press release, Chief Executive for the Louisiana Red Cross, Joshua Joachim said:
The Red Cross provided families with a Red Cross Emergency Preparedness Starter Kit, which included items like water and emergency supplies. Smoke alarms were also installed in each home.
"This was a great opportunity to do that and we are really proud of our partnership with Rebuilding Together Baton Rouge to be able to put people back in their homes," Joachim said.
To volunteer with Rebuilding Together BR, click here.