River parish residents wait for housing and home repairs two months after Hurricane Ida
LAPLACE (WVUE) - Many residents in parishes hardest hit by Hurricane Ida continue to wait for a temporary housing solution, like FEMA trailers, while others are taking matters into their own hands for survival.
In Laplace, residents like Kenia Eads are still displaced as work continues on her home after Hurricane Ida.
“I’m living down the street but they’re getting ready to sell the house so I have two weeks to move out,” said Eads. “I’ve cried a lot… it’s frustrating. You feel like you pay insurance for so long and then you get no help when you most need them. It’s really frustrating.”
Eads said she and her husband are working around the clock to get at least one bedroom and bathroom ready so they can move into their home-- a home they haven’t lived in for two months. And they are tired of waiting around for help that never comes.
“Dealing with the insurance companies has been really a hazard,” she said. “No help. No answers. No nothing. You’re literally on your own trying to use your savings to get through this.”
And she’s not alone. Her entire neighborhood is dealing with similar issues... if not worse.
In neighboring St. Charles Parish, Danni Coll is living in a camper in her driveway with her husband, five-month-old baby, two stepchildren, and her nephew.
“It’s frustrating all around as far as schools, children, everything you know and adjusting to a small house… or a camper... and everything like that,” said Coll.
She said her family bought the camper about one month ago because they couldn’t wait any longer.
“We were automatically disqualified for FEMA so we had to jump through quite a few hoops to get this,” said Coll. “Contractors are busy now, now that we have how much we’re going to be able to pay for. Contractors are already booked up, so it’s just a waiting game.”
While they wait for home repairs, she said she doesn’t know how long they’ll be in the camper.
“I hope we can be celebrating his first birthday in a home,” she laughed while holding her son.
And like many in similar situations, it’s just about taking it one day at a time.
“Me and my neighbors. We’re all trying to battle this together, you know?” said Eads.
In a news release, St. John the Baptist Parish officials ask residents in need of temporary housing to register for FEMA at disasterassistance.gov. To register for the state’s sheltering program or find out what sheltering options are available, visit IdaShelteringLA.com or call (844)268-0301, or for TTY services call (844)458-1806.
In a previous report in St. Charles Parish, Parish President Matthew Jewell says only a few state-provided trailers have been paired with families so far and hopes that process will start to pick up. He says the fact they now have trailers in staging areas is huge.
“I frankly am relieved to see it,” said Jewell. “Because I was worried about our residents who may be in a tent or maybe living in a home that has mold. Or it’s just unlivable or living with their family now. This is a much safer environment for our residents to be in and this will help them again start the process of rebuilding.”
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