Last weekend, many areas of South Louisiana were ravaged by raging waters. But, unfortunately, most of the country knows very little about the catastrophic disaster. According to CNN, the Louisiana Flood of 2016 has affected more than 20,000 people living in 30 parishes across the state.
In addition to the devastating losses, Louisiana residents are now faced with an even bigger problem – the aftermath. It has been reported that an overwhelming number of residents may be forced to cover a substantial amount of the costs to repair their homes and replace personal property. But, why?
Well, flood insurance has been a major topic of discussion over the past week and it’s causing quite an uproar for several reasons. According to The Advocate, many of the areas that flooded are not considered flood zones, which means flood insurance was not a requirement. In fact, neighborhoods established more than 30 years ago suffered the blunt of the Louisiana Flood.
Devastated local residents still find the flood baffling as the rainfall didn’t seem comparable to the flood waters that damaged so many homes. Within one to two days, water had receded in many areas. The drastic changes led many residents to believe some form of a blockage may have led to the seemingly bizarre flood.
In the days that followed, rainfall continued, but the flash flood warnings ceased as water receded rapidly. The extensive damage has impacted approximately 110,000 homes statewide which totals an estimated $21 billion in damaged residential and commercial real estate. But unfortunately, FEMA will only offer a maximum of $33,000 to repair each damaged home which likely won’t be enough to cover the costs. And although $33,000 is the maximum payout, there’s a strong possibility most Louisiana residents will receive far less than that.
“I’ve seen presentations by FEMA public affairs professionals that when they want to manage the expectations when it comes to direct assistance, they often say, ‘Depending upon the disaster, the typical payout’s going to be in the $9,000 to $10,000 range,'” said Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.
So, what will homeowners do? One devastated resident detailed his losses during an interview with CNN as he looked over his yard covered with debris. Homebuilder Austin Schexnayder shared his reaction to the flood and how the daunting reality and aftermath has affected him and his family. “This is everything we worked for, everything gone right in front of your eyes,” he said. “I would do anything for my kids, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to put a roof over their heads.”
The Louisiana Flood of 2016, has received very little coverage although it has been deemed the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy swept through the East Coast. In fact, some reporters have even noted how eerily similar the flood is to Hurricane Katrina. But, despite the damage its done, so many Americans are unaware of the obstacles plaguing many Louisiana residents.
So what caused the flood? If you ask numerous Louisianians, you’ll probably get an array of answers. Some believe the flood is the work of God and Mother Nature, while others believe it’s the result of man-made errors that could have been prevented.
According to WBRZ News, Mayor Rick Ramsey of Walker Louisiana also believes the flood could have been prevented. He’s even preparing to file a lawsuit against the state and federal government, alleging the construction work along I-12 may have contributed to the flood disaster. The frustrated mayor also revealed approximately 80 percent of the homes in Walker, LA have been damaged as a result of the flood.
“As soon as our attorney gets out of his flooded subdivision, we’re putting it in his lap,” Ramsey said. “I have told everyone who will listen.” Ramsey also stated that the lawsuit will be a class action suit. He encourages others from surrounding areas to join the fight against the government.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]