Many LA flood victims won't be celebrating Thanksgiving in their homes

Many LA flood victims won't be celebrating Thanksgiving in their homes

(WVUE) - While many people ponder what desserts to serve after Thanksgiving dinner, thousands of flood victims in Louisiana cannot celebrate the holiday at their homes.

"I'm just thankful to be here. It's a rough road, it's been a rough road, and now the road is getting a little bit more bumpy, but we made it before and we're going to try to make it again," said Mary Stalling of Tangipahoa Parish.

She will mark the holiday away from her home, which took on floodwaters in August. Stalling is living in a FEMA disaster trailer in the Hammond area because her home still needs repairs.

"My home was four feet off the ground and I had four feet of water inside, so everything was destroyed," said Stalling.

Anna Desselles' home in Robert shows a lot of recovery progress.

The walls have been redone and flooring work is underway. I think Friday they're coming back to put carpeting in the bedrooms," Desselles said. "That's about all I could have done today.

Still, having Thanksgiving dinner at her home this year is out of the question.

"I wanted to, but because of the lack of furniture I didn't want to have my family uncomfortable, but I have my whole kitchen back together," said Desselles.

Her kitchen is back in working condition, so she prepared dishes to take to her sister's house on Thanksgiving Day.

"I am thankful for a lot.  I've had so much help for this house, let me tell you," Desselles said.

Back in the trailer park, Stalling does not plan to cook a turkey. She said she's been dealing with health problems and was recently hospitalized. But she is happy to have a roof over her head. Her government-issued trailer has two bedrooms, a kitchen, small sitting area and one bath.

"It's good, but like they say, there's no place like home and that's what we're all trying to get back to, home," she said.

And despite the ongoing recovery from the flooding during this holiday season, many people said they were just grateful that they made it out of the flood safely.

"As soon as it flooded, I was rescued that day by Wildlife and Fisheries and had some relatives that picked me up off the street, took me to their home," Desselles said.

And when asked whether she would be back in her home for Christmas, Stalling replied, "No, I know I won't be home for Christmas, it's going to take a while."

Still, Stalling does not need Thanksgiving day to have gratitude.

"It's a holiday for everybody, but yesterday, the day after, if I'm here next week, that's all Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is every day with me, every day I wake up and I'm here, that's Thanksgiving," said Stalling.

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