Some Acadiana families still in hotels 5 months after historic flood

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Nearly five months after the historic flood of 2016, several families are still forced to call hotel rooms their home.

When the historic flood was approaching, the Soileau family was prepared to be without power and water for about a week. They had no idea, five months later, they would still not be able to live in their home.

Avery Soileau, his wife, and three of their four children are still living in a hotel. Which he says is better than trying to live in the house while repairs are being done.

But the journey has been filled with stress and anxiety, not knowing month to month if FEMA will cover hotel costs.

“You’re on pins and needles, you don’t get notice until just right before it’s time for you to check out,” Soileau told News 10’s Dalfred Jones.

Avery says they’ve made every effort possible to get back home, even buying materials and doing some of the work themselves.

“I’ve shown my kids how to insulate, how to hang Sheetrock,” he explained.

The problem occurs with the insurance company.

Avery says they were low-balled on repair cost, and had to jump through several hoops to get the company to raise the settlement amount.

“We got insurance. We pay insurance for the very reason, and for this to take this long is just insane,” he said.

Avery hope to be back home in the next month. But he says there needs to be reform in how insurance and mortgage companies handle these types of situations.

“When people pay their hard earned money for protection, then they need to be protected. It should be no questions asked,” he said.

Soileau says several flood victims in the hotel are hearing rumors that the transitional shelter assistance funds would be cut off next week–forcing them to pay for their own rooms.

We spoke to FEMA representatives, and they told us, the TSA program varies for each individual client.

Assistance depends on the current conditions of the home.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community, or you simply need a question answered, Dial Dalfred at 262-0868.

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