Lillie Gumm is about two weeks away from moving back into her house that took on three feet of water during last year's historic floods.
"The water started coming in from all sides," she said as she walked through her mostly renovated home on Monday, surveying work that has been done over the past three weeks to replace cabinets, drywall, appliances. "Everything was ruined."
People who live in areas affected by last year's catastrophic floods are being urged on tele…
Gumm, 63 and a retired truck driver, is one of the first homeowners to rebuild through the state's Restore Louisiana Housing Assistance Program, which is funded through about $1.3 billion in aid from the federal government.
More than nine months after catastrophic floods damaged thousands of homes across south Loui…
The state has been trying to encourage more people to take an initial flood survey – available at restore.la.gov or by calling 1-866-735-2001 – to see if they also qualify. Gumm said she signed up on the first day that the survey opened the program.
To date, about 36,500 surveys have been completed, but state leaders say that it remains thousands fewer than they say could use the aid.
To get the word out about assistance that's available to people affected by last year's hist…
Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday toured Gumm's Baton Rouge Forest Park area home with her to see the progress and highlight the type of work that is available to flood victims as the program begins to ramp up.
"Certainly, it's been a little harder than I've wanted it to be," Edwards said.
Photos: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards tours rebuilt post-flood home
Gov. John Bel Edwards and his wife, Donna, tour the flood- damaged home of Lillie Gumm that is nearing completion under the Restore Homeowner Assistance Program. The program is helping homeowners statewide with reimbursements and repairs to their homes that were impacted by the March and August floods of 2016.
In its initial phases, the homeowner rebuilding programs have been limited to those deemed the most in need – low income individuals who are elderly or have disabled residents.
The state is beginning to extend the program to all income levels in the most impacted parishes and has no priority for disability, with further rollout anticipated depending on need and available funds.