Disaster recovery centers provide glimmer of hope for flood victims

Disaster recovery centers provide glimmer of hope for flood victims

HAMMOND, LA (WVUE) - The nightmare that follows the flooding for some people is still present as they grapple to make their reality somewhat normal.

"I wouldn't wish it on nobody, it's hard," said Stephanie Johnson, who lived in Tangipahoa Parish during the flooding.

Johnson and her husband Willie are still in a shelter after flood waters forced them from their home. Now they're hoping a disaster recovery center in Hammond can provide some help.

"They want this information, they want that information, but like I told them, I can't provide them the information they want because we lost it in the flood," Johnson said.

She's not frustrated with the staff, though, who she said have been as helpful as they can be - just the process.

Still, some people see the recovery center as a beacon of hope on a path to recovery that's still unknown.

"I need someone to talk to and for them to tell me what to do. I don't know what to do, so I think this is awesome what they're doing," said Cindy Watt, who is still living in her home despite flood damage.

The crew at the disaster center can help put flood victims on the right track. Even if you've registered online, the face-to-face interaction puts some people at ease.

"I'd much rather talk to a person than fill out a form online, so I feel much better after coming here," said Cinda Anderson, who lost a portion of her home on the Tangipahoa River.

That's the feeling for the Johnsons, eager to get the answers. After days of life in a shelter, waiting for help at the disaster recovery center just makes sense.

"It's better than sitting in one spot. Come up here, you've got people trying to help you out, make you feel like you've got hope or something," Willie Johnson said. "We've got kids, we've gotta keep trying, gotta keep trying. It's hard, it's hard."

FEMA has positioned eight disaster recovery centers in the areas hit hardest by flooding around the Capital Region that are all expected to stay open as long as they're needed.

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