Braithwaite flood victim: We're just ready to go home - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Braithwaite flood victim: We're just ready to go home

Bazile Drive flooded by Isaac  (Courtesy: Ashley Malone) Bazile Drive flooded by Isaac (Courtesy: Ashley Malone)

Belle Chasse, La. - They may not be home for the holidays, but Plaquemines Parish flood victims applying for federal disaster assistance are giving thanks for any news that will help them move on with their lives. According to the parish, help is on the way, but the wait isn't over yet.

Ashley Malone and her 7-year-old daughter have been living in limbo since Isaac's floodwaters took over their Braithwaite home.

"The water rose to about 12 feet, but settled about 8 or 9," said Malone. "When we got there, there was nothing. I was able to save two crates of crystal that was my grandfather's that we bleached and that was it."

Malone has been living with her future in-laws. "Financially, for us to leave? We're not in a good spot at all," she explained.

She is hoping for a buyout and soon. "I just don't understand what is taking so long," Malone tells us.

"I just want to say be patient and we are getting to it and we are working hard every single day," said Benny Puckett with Plaquemines Parish.

Puckett is the grant administrator for the parish.  He said plans for buyout, elevation and reconstruction through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program are moving swiftly.

He also said he knows it's hard for flood victims to see it that way. "We realize, see, because we've been there before," said Puckett. "We realize the burden of what these families are going through. We realize what is happening in their life and how they want to move on."

Puckett said those who submitted an initial application are getting requests for additional information that were mailed on Monday. That information is due back to his office by December 14, so the state can begin a cost-benefit analysis of each case.

"So the state has to determine whether it's more cost beneficial to do what the homeowner is wanting to do or to do something different. That's simply to get the best use of public dollar that is possible," said Puckett.

He said flood victims can expect to start seeing some action in the first quarter of 2013.

For Ashley Malone and her family, the new year can't come soon enough. "I'm blessed to have someone to go to," said Malone. "We didn't have to stay in a hotel. We have space here, so it works out for the best I know.  But still we're just ready to go home."

There are some residents who didn't know they had to fill out that initial application to get the ball rolling.

If you haven't filled out the Voluntary Participation Agreement, you need to call Benny Puckett's office as soon as possible. The number is 504-297-5637.

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