Flooded Tickfaw family to return home, but holidays are a challenge

Months later, some flood victims still in hotels

HAMMOND, LA (WVUE) - Four months after a flood devastated much of south Louisiana, many people have rebuilt. But a family of four is still living out of a Hammond motel. As we head into the holidays, though, their fortunes may be about to change.

We first told you about April Holloway last August. At the time, she had just been evicted from her flooded-out Tangi Village apartment with nowhere to live but her car. Since then, this single mother and her three children -  5-year-old Chanel; 7-year-old Korbin, who is autistic; and 12-year-old Precious - have been living out of the motel, and it hasn't been easy.

"All kinds of crazy stuff going on. We had a shooting a couple of days ago," said Holloway.

To make matters worse, Holloway, who flooded out twice last year, lost her federal food assistance due to a mix-up over phone numbers.

"You stop asking and start wondering if they even care," said Holloway.

The motel isn't as full as it once was, as many flood victims have moved out.

"It's so hard to see everybody go home, and we still stuck out," said Precious.

The family perseveres, thanks to FEMA housing vouchers that are soon to run out, and help from other groups. But it's often not enough.

"Being a mother, I was able to provide food for them, but this has been hard," said Holloway.

But all that changes Monday when the Holloways get to move back into their rebuilt apartment, and although they're happy, they're missing some of the things they had grown used to.

"We don't have our living room set, the dining room set, anything, the kids bed," said Holloway.

April now wonders about what, if anything, will wind up under the Christmas tree - if they have one at all.

"I explain to them, it's not just about getting gifts," said Holloway.

She has lost just about everything, except for the love of a family that stuck together through the best and the worst. And they can't wait for Monday.

"Just going home would be the greatest gift we can have right now," said Holloway.

The August flood killed 13 people, and flooded 100,000 homes. April Holloway said she's been getting a lot of help from organizations like the Cajun Navy and Catholic Charities. If you would like to help either group, click here and here.

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