Flood victims dealing with the financial burden of last week’s rainstorm
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Last week’s rainstorm changed the lives of a lot of people across Southeast Louisiana, leaving hundreds trying to figure out how to pay for repairs or replace destroyed items.
“We lost so much. We lost over $10,000 worth of stuff in our house,” said Emetrics Holley.
Holley, and her family of 7, were living at Siegen Calais Apartments and lost everything in the flood, including two cars.
Thanks to the help of friends and strangers, she was able to find a new place to live in about three days, but she knows not everyone was as lucky.” I spoke to one tenant over there and she had just moved in two weeks before the flood and she lost everything. Where does she go from here,” asked Holley.
A spokesperson from the Governor’s office said it’s still too early to know if federal assistance will become available because they’re still completing damage assessments. As of Wednesday, May 26, nearly 1600 damage reports were submitted. In the meantime, several organizations are stepping up to help in some capacity. Officials with the Red Cross said they are housing between 65 to 75 people that lost their home. In addition, they’re offering mental health services and meals every day.
However, long-term financial help is still in the works. ”We are still in the process of seeing what that recovery process may look like,” said Stephanie Fox, Director of Communications for Red Cross. Fox said the organization is about 80% done with their damage assessment. The holdup is that a few parishes are still dealing with a lot of water, and they must wait until it drains to get an accurate count of how many people were affected. ”When we have a really large scale incident and we have to determine exactly where that help is going to be needed most right after an event, it’s critical information to have,” said Fox. While that could take some days or even weeks, Holley is worried it might come too late for a lot of people. Her advice to those that were affected is to keep your head high until that help arrives. ”If you’re just doing it on your own, you have to get it out the mud. You got to hustle, get on the grind and try to get it,” said Holley.
The Salvation Army will host a donation drive Saturday, May 26, with Tanger Outlets from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Officials are also working on hosting a food drive with the food bank and several other parishes.
State officials are also reminding people to submit those damage assessments as soon as possible. The website for that survey is damage.la.gov.
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