Baton Rouge flood victims calling metro hotels home

Caresse Jackman talks about local hotels that are giving flood victims a place to stay.

KENNER, La. --  Many victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana are still in shelters and hotels across the state, including in the metro area.

If you step into James Wright’s hotel room at the Red Roof Inn in Kenner, you will notice there are not many items.

Two bags sit on the floor. His medication stands on the counter. Just a handful of things remains with him after last month’s floods damaged his apartment complex.

“It’s kind of devastating, you know,” Wright said. “The mildew and stuff. The smell. My immune system isn’t all that great."

For five days, the Army veteran stayed in a shelter before coming to the hotel. Red Roof Inn is just one of the several hotels across the state giving people, like Wright, a place to sleep.

“A lot of them are still not set up with the FEMA system and they wait until the system, to put them through and we try and accommodate them as best as possible,” Red Roof Inn Owner Mohamad Gillani said.

It is called the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program or TSA. People affected by the flood receive assistance, housing or a hotel room. FEMA said over 63,000 households are now getting housing assistance.

2,300 are in hotels. FEMA covers the costs and notifies their hotel partners.

"Right now we have around eighteen guests, but the number fluctuates. It was up to twenty-three and now it's back to eighteen and we're expecting more people, Gillani said.

It could take six weeks before Wright gets his apartment repaired. Wright said the day to day stress is grinding.

"Not only is it exhausting, but it's expensive. Like forty-five minutes to an hour and go back and forth,” Wright said.

Wright plans on moving in with his daughter who lives in Houston. He's ready for things to get back to normal, something that can't come soon enough.  


(© 2016 WWL)


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