ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - The water from the August 2016 flood may have receded, but two and a half years later, time continues to tick away for Dean and Verna Bourgeois in St. Amant.
“We eat, sleep, watch television, all that good stuff, under the carport,” said Verna.
Their home along Highway 22 in St. Amant flooded in 2016. What the flood did not claim, a fire did just a few days later.
When Dean’s mother passed away, she left him her home, but it too flooded in 2016. They say the parish inspected the mother’s home and that it had to be condemned.
“The house itself is like two camps put together. Now, it is splitting. The front half is going one way and the back half is going another way. One man told us the back half could fall anytime,” said Dean.
It’s why they have turned the home’s carport into their temporary house, using fence board to enclose it and a tarp on the inside to keep the wind and rain out. There’s a small bed under the carport for Dean, who is disabled after diabetes and gangrene claimed the lower portion of his right leg. His wife is his full-time caretaker. There’s also a small couch, makeshift kitchen, and a tent for their son to sleep in.
The family says they received about $7,000 from FEMA, but that money went quickly. They lost everything they had to the flood and fire. Someone has donated a trailer for them to live in, but they still need the steps hooked up and some repairs to be made.
“Electrician, plumber, carpenter, sewage, water, all that needs to be hooked up on the trailer and get it ready to be moved into. I just don’t have the funds,” said Dean.
Verna says she can dream, and that dream is to simply be in a real home.
“I cry and everything and worry and pray something good will happen. I’m mainly worried about my family, my husband, my son,” she said.
The couple says they could also use clothes. She wears a size 10 and her husband wears an X-large.