More than 80,000 homes in Louisiana were damaged last year by floods in March and August. Across the Baton Rouge area, families are returning to restored houses swamped by the August waters. But many others are just getting started or remain stalled.
They wait on flood insurance payments and contractors or hope a new state rebuilding program can help them.
Here are some of their stories from three flooded areas in East Baton Rouge Parish.
A large, concrete canal known as Hurricane Creek snakes southward through the heart of north…
Linden Street flooded along with most of the streets that surround the old Howell Park golf course. Metro Councilman LaMont Cole, who represents the area, has taken several recent trips through the area.
“The depth of devastation is what stood out to me — and the determination of people to get back,” Cole said.
Old Jefferson is a study in contrasts. Move away from the brick homes fronted by pristine la…
Closest to Claycut Bayou, near Tiger Bend Road, piles of debris line many blocks. FEMA trailers sit in the shadows of gutted homes. In a subdivision sandwiched between Baringer and Antioch roads, many residents are just starting the journey of rebuilding.
The problem isn't necessarily a lack of flood insurance. Many residents said they had insurance, a requirement for anyone with a mortgage after the area last flooded in the early 1980s. But there are still plenty of headaches, with insurance and mortgage companies demanding they check off a laundry list of benchmarks before they'll issue any payouts.
"They act like they don't want to give us the money ..."
When Michelle Green returned in August to her home in Greenwell Springs, she was greeted by …
The words "Can't Catch A Break" were painted in big, block letters on the face of Micehlle Green's Chaumont Avenue house. She doesn't know who wrote the phrase, but it certainly captures what her life has been like since floodwaters soaked 130 homes in her neighborhood.
"There were dead fish all over the floor in our house," one resident recalled. "That is a smell that I never want to smell again in my life."