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Trailers arrive in Lafourche Parish, but many sit unused

Parish President Archie Chaisson says people are going to get help, it’s just going to take some time.

LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — In the parking lot of the Houma Civic Center, there are about 300 trailers ready to go out to Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish residents whose homes were severely damaged during Ida.

The plan i for people to live in the trailers on their properties whil they fix their houses, but there’s a hold up.

“It's just the contractors working on hauls and installs — working through how to get them from point A to B,” Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson said. “Making sure that these people qualify and that they have adequate space to put it and that they have access to water, sewer and power”

Chaisson says many of the local contractors needed to hook these trailers up are busy doing other work. 

At the government office Tuesday, a FEMA representative was on site to answer questions, but it’s busy. Chaisson says they’re seeing between 200 and 400 people every day.

"So there are a few who are frustrated about the time frame they are having to wait, but look, if you come in with a few questions and you have to work through an appeal or some sort of denial after you've already registered, it's taking some time,” Chaisson said.

The trailers at the Civic Center are for people who can put them on their land and have the necessary hook ups, but renters who live in damaged homes and don’t have permission from the owners aren’t as lucky. Chaisson says they are working on creating a trailer camp where those renters can stay.

"We gave FEMA in the very beginning spaces where they do base camps for those people who are either renting or living in apartments," he said. "There are a couple bigger sites that already have existing RV hook ups that we can add to very quickly."

Right now, the renter sites are still being evaluated as trailers continue to sit unused. Chaisson says people are going to get help, it’s just going to take some time.

"We are all in this together,” he said. “And I am committed to being here until we can see all of this through and rebuild the parish."