Damage From Louisiana Floods Lingers

Associated Press

An estimated 40,000 homes have been damaged by the deadly Louisiana floods and thousands of families are struggling to recover after having been displaced.

Keisha Taylor, 37, has spent nearly three nights in two different shelters since her Baton Rouge apartment complex was drenched with treacherous floods. The mother of four says that although she has the option of staying with relatives 30 miles West outside of Louisiana, she has to stay because her kids’ schools might reopen next week.

“This is where I live. I need to be home,” she told the Associated Press.

Terri Ricks, Deputy Secretary for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services says the state is looking into organizing local sheltering efforts to give people a place to stay while they repair and rebuild.

“Nobody wants to do a long-term shelter. We want to get people in a more permanent situation,” she said.

According to government officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has started to aid people suffering severe damage. It has inspected nearly 1,400 homes and has payed $900,000 with individual assistance of $7.6 million worth of approved disbursement.

So far, the flood in Baton Rouge has left 13 people dead. More than 30,000 have been rescued and over 70,000 have registered assistance for federal disaster assistance.

Jim Donelon, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, says that only twelve percent of homes in Baton Rouge were covered by flood insurance and only fourteen percent in Lafayette. However, Donelon completely understand being that most lenders tell most homebuyers that flood insurance is not a requirement.

Despite several calls being placed for President Obama to visit, the White House says he is unlikely to leave his New England vacation to visit and survey the damage.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says he’d prefer him to wait “a week or two” of road and security logistics that must be put in place.

In fact, Edwards would prefer if that the President would wait a week or two to visit because it would require local police and first responders to provide security and block roads.