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2016 Floods Still Challenge Survivors


04 12 18

 

 

Week of Compassion and ICNA Relief collaborate to rebuild damaged homes in Louisiana.
April 12, 2018
 
In March of 2016, flooding swept across much of Louisiana. In Ouachita Parish (in upstate Louisiana, between Shreveport and Vicksburg, Mississippi), the heavy rainfall created a strong flow of water–strong enough to displace the foundation piers of homes.

The foundation movement at one survivor’s home caused the roof to leak, the outside walls to shift, and the floors to buckle and bulge. Gaps along the walls, floors, and roof allowed rainfall into the home, causing further damage and extensive mold growth.

The survivor is a 63-year old disabled father of eight, who lives with chronic illness. After the flood, this large family moved into a 2-bedroom apartment, where they are still living. Though on a fixed income, he continues to pay bills on both residences.

He was able to make some minor repairs himself, but the family could not afford to make the repairs to the roof or to the floor joists, sills, floors, and ceilings. FEMA funding helped them purchase an air conditioner (an attempt to dry the home and reduce mold growth) and replace the children’s damaged clothing, but it was insufficient to repair the home. State recovery programs have been slow to help, and he has been waiting for more than a year to find out how much state funding will be available to assist with the repairs. Without addressing the major problems, the conditions of their home continued to deteriorate.

Things got more difficult in Ouachita Parish when, later in 2016, the southern half of Louisiana again flooded, including historic flooding in Baton Rouge. Much of the attention, money, and volunteers shifted away from Ouachita and other rural Parishes upstate.

But the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief USA provided case management services and are coordinating repairs in the parish. Through the partnership network of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), ICNA reached out to Week of Compassion. Both organizations share values of community-led recovery, prioritization of the most vulnerable, and accompaniment through long-term recovery. Week of Compassion provided funds for building materials, which ICNA Relief USA leveraged for donated supplies and labor, thereby doubling the return on investment.

Week of Compassion and ICNA Relief USA have removed the collapsing chimney, repaired the roof, replaced the floor joists and floorboards, repaired a wastewater line, and laid new subfloor and flooring. The work continues to make the home safe, sanitary and secure. The work continues through partnership with ICNA Relief USA and through the support of the Week of Compassion.

Article Courtesy: Disaster News Network