LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In the past, damage from hurricanes like Rita, Ike and Harvey have destroyed thousands of homes. That’s why there is an effort underway to prevent some homes in our area from flooding in the future.
"It was a very trying, trying year last year," home owner Kimberly Clark said.
The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury looks to help families rebuild after the storm.
“We’ve applied for these hazard mitigation assistance program grants for the last several years,” CPPJ accountant Jennifer Cobian said.
Last week they received 3.3 million dollars to help 16 families in Calcasieu Parish. Clark and her family were ecstatic to get the call.
“I squealed, then I probably started to hyperventilate, then I cried,” Clark said.
The Ohio natives moved to Lake Charles in September 2016. By May of next year, they experienced their first flood.
“We just kinda shut the power off and went upstairs and watched the water come up and up and up,” Clark said.
The Clarks received 13 inches of water in their home. They began to rebuild, but in three months' time, hurricane Harvey was at their doorstep.
“It’s absolutely terrible. I can’t say I’ve slept a whole lot since that time,” Clark said.
With the FEMA grant, homeowners have two options, elevate or relocate.
“We purchase the house for fair market value and the home is demolished and the homeowner purchases a home elsewhere,” Cobian said.
Eight families chose to relocate this year. Clark and seven other families chose to stay.
“I love the street, the neighbors are quiet, and it’s a different house,” Clark said, “It’s not like every house that we looked at.”
While time may vary on when construction will begin on Clark’s home, she says it is worth the wait.
If you are interested in applying for the hazard mitigation gran program can visit the CPPJ website.