NEW ORLEANS- “When you take a hit, that severe, it does put you in a very difficult position," business owner Kim Krivjanick said.
A position Krivjanick says she never imagined herself in, now facing personal bankruptcy and potentially closing a business she’s owned for more than 20 years.
“My line of credit is exhausted and I’m struggling to pay these bills every month,” Krivjanick said.
Krivjanick owns Ricard’s Inc, a supply company that sells janitorial chemicals, toilet tissue, cake boxes and to-go trays. The flooding on August 5th put her in a deep hole, she says.
“$17,000 total. All together it’s $19,004 worth of products and equipment that I lost,” Krivjanick said.
The front of her store, Krivjanick says, got about three to four feet of water. Her cabinet now contains wrinkled forms and folders, remnants of the damage. The water in the back of her store got even higher.
“You couldn’t even walk through it. It was just like I went through Katrina all over again, with a simple Saturday rain!” Krivjanick said.
Krivjanick says she often wonders how the Katrina money from FEMA was spent. She’s relieved knowing the U.S. Department of Homeland’s Security’s Inspector General is investigating it.
“Everybody knows they were awarded lots of money. You know, I’m very excited to hear that at least it’s going to start,” Krivjanick said.
In a committee meeting on Monday morning, Sewerage and Water Board officials learned about the audit, which begins on January 5th. The development comes after WWL-TV’s Down the Drain investigation revealed the board’s poor management of drainage pumps, infrastructure, and finances.
For Krivjanick, she wants the city and the Sewerage and Water Board to reimburse those struggling from the flood. The water may have receded, but she says the damage to her livelihood may be damaged for years to come.
"They keep telling me, somebody's gonna come. Somebody's gonna come each month. And yeah, I'm starting to lose faith...and lose time. I'm running out of time too,” Krivjanick said.
In a statement Monday, the City of New Orleans says they’ll work with the Sewerage and Water Board to ensure full compliance with any request by the Department of Homeland Security.
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