FOX 8 Defenders: Elevation project, six months behind schedule - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

FOX 8 Defenders: Elevation project, six months behind schedule

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Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove
Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove
Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove
Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove Alex Henderson's home in Hollygrove

New Orleans, La. - Alex Henderson's Hollygrove home is hard to miss.

"My neighbors across the street say every time a good wind comes, the house will sway," explained Henderson.

It's been up in the air, literally, since the beginning of the year. "January 24th they raised it up, and it's been sitting ever since," said Henderson.

Henderson tells FOX 8 he hired a home elevation contractor through the state's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) to raise it. But after the first few days on job, he says, he never saw them again.

"February work stopped. March work stopped," said Henderson.

When he made calls to HMGP to find out what happened, he said his calls went unanswered. "When I finally got them they told me... oh we were just about to call you to let you know that your contractor had lost his license," explained Henderson.

By April, he said the whole place was leaning so he decided to take action on his own and install three iron posts. "I just put some blocks here at the bottom, and I shimmied it up here (at the top ) with some plates... Some plates right there to keep some tension on the house," said Henderson.

After the FOX 8 Defenders started asking questions, HMGP sent another contractor to Henderson's home to survey the structure's stability. The contractor found that in a storm situation, the home could be vulnerable.

"They came out after y'all talked to them, they came out and put this blue pier and that blue pier to help support it," said Henderson.

Two additional supportive piers gives him some relief. But until the job is finished, Henderson says he'll be concerned, especially as we approach the height of hurricane season.

Hazard Mitigation and Recovery Coordination Director Craig Taffaro tells FOX 8, "The HMGP continues to partner with homeowners and qualified contractors to address some of the elevation projects that were left unfinished by contractors whose poor performance led to dismissal of the program."

Taffaro explained the program is on track to have 95 percent of projects completed by the fall. He said work on Henderson's home is expected to pick back up in a week.

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