INDEPENDENCE- Wendy Nunez is still sorting through her belongings after her family moved into a new FEMA housing unit, following a mold outbreak in her last one.
The family is staying in the temporary housing while continuing work on their Independence home, which flooded with four feet of water in August.
The belongings have been in the custody of Timberline Construction Group, out of Alabama, but with an office in the Baton Rouge area. We're told Timberline, a subcontractor of CB&I, was hired to remove the Nunez's mobile housing unit and reinstall another one. Under the FEMA contract, Timberline is responsible for transporting personal items such as clothing and furniture to the cleaners for professional cleaning.
But Nunez says the experience has been another gut punch.
"I don't even know how to react," she said, "I'm trying to be numb."
When the property first came back two days later, she says everything arrived still wet, with more mold on them than they left with. But Timberline took everything back immediately and promised it would be done right.
They started returning the property Tuesday.
Nunez says some things were cleaned well, like their mattresses, but some things were not. She says some things were damaged and some things weren't even theirs including women's underwear. By the time Timberline made their last delivery, Nunez also realized some things were missing, including electronics and jewelry belonging to her daughter and her deceased mother.
"Where is the knowledge on how to clean things because I was under the impression that professional cleaners, who had handled things like this before, were going to be doing things," Nunez asked.
When the company couldn't come up with the items, Nunez filed a police report for a theft case. We've also learned a crew member with Timberline filed his own police report saying he felt threatened on one occasion at the Nunez property.
We asked FEMA about the situation. They say, at this point, it's out of their hands. So we asked both Timberline and CB&I about Timberline's qualifications and the theft claim.
While Timberline says, "due to contract requirements and confidentiality agreements, we are not allowed speak with the press regarding this contract or the work performed under the contract," CB&I did offer a statement.
Spokesman Matt Braud said, "CB&I conducts its operations with the absolute highest ethics and integrity, and we hold our subcontractors to the same standards. In this instance, we took the claims seriously and looked into the matter. We believe the claims are not true and will cooperate fully with all parties involved."
The family says, at this point, they just want their things back.
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