Apartment residents left homeless after Friday's flooding

10pm Apartment residents left homeless after Friday's flooding
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - After heavy rains Friday, many residents on the ground level of the Nelson Pointe Apartment complex say their units are uninhabitable.

KPLC's Erica Bivens went looking for answers but was asked to leave by management, but not before she captured this.

"We're going to have to start over," said Robert Bordelon, who has only lived at Nelson Pointe Apartments in Lake Charles for a few months.

But after Friday's heavy rains, he says he no longer has a home.

"My apartment had about 4.5 to 5 inches of water. It's not livable, I mean, they have a response team here now that's tearing out the carpet, putting in fans, but they haven't got to my building yet, probably another day or so," said Bordelon.

On Saturday, many residents could be found cleaning up what's left in their apartments – airing out vehicles which were flooded in the parking lots and garage units.

"As you can see, my garage, the water pushed against it and broke the garage. So everything I have in here is exposed to the public. I can't protect it, I can't shut it," said Bordelon.

But Bordelon says it's the things that can't be replaced that hurt the most, "A lot of art. That bothers me the most. That and family pictures. Everything else can be replaced."

Red Cross officials also made their rounds, offering cleaning kits to residents and shelter information to those flooded out.

But many there, including Bordelon expressed frustration with the complex management.

When Bordelon was asked if management had given residents any shelter options, he said, "No. No they haven't."

While management declined a comment to KPLC Saturday, they said corporate will be on-site Sunday.

But for the residents affected, they want answers. And until then, many are staying with family and friends, or shelling out money for a hotel.

"I have to find a place to stay. I did last night and again tonight for sure, hopefully by tomorrow… well, I think it'll be awhile," said Bordelon.

KPLC will follow-up with apartment officials. In the meantime, any residents affected by flooding can contact the Red Cross for additional information.

The following information from the American Red Cross:

Red Cross Responds to Flooding Provides Tips to Stay Safe After a Flood

Lake Charles, LA. Saturday, June 28, 2014 — The American Red Cross is providing relief to residents affected by flooding across the area on Friday. On Saturday, Red Cross volunteers will canvass Lake Charles area neighborhoods that reported damage, to distribute clean up kits and tarps. The kits include items such as mops, buckets and bleach, to help people as they clean up their homes. Volunteers will also meet individually with families to discuss recovery plans.

With additional rainfall forecast for the area, the Red Cross is in contact with emergency management officials from across South Louisiana, and is ready to meet additional community needs. People are encouraged to download the free Red Cross Flood App to their iPhone or Android device. The app features safety and preparedness tips, flood warning alerts and much more.  Additional safety tips are available at www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/flood.

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those in the affected area to stay safer:

  • Continue listening to local radio or television stations or a NOAA Weather Radio for updated information and instructions. If you are away from home, return only when authorities say it is safe to do so. 
  • Before entering your home, look outside for loose power lines, damaged gas lines, foundation cracks or other damages.
  • Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes that may have come into your home with the floodwater.
  • If you smell natural or propane gas or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and call the fire department.
  • If power lines are down outside your home, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • Keep children and pets away from hazardous sites and floodwater.
  • When it is safe to return home, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes when examining your walls, doors, staircases and windows for damage.
  • During cleanup, wear protective clothing, including rubber gloves and rubber boots.
  • Make sure your food and water are safe. Discard items that have come in contact with floodwater, including canned goods, water bottles, plastic utensils and baby bottle nipples. When in doubt, throw it out!
  • Do not use water that could be contaminated to wash dishes, brush teeth, prepare food, wash hands, make ice or make baby formula.

All Red Cross assistance is free, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Anyone wishing to help people affected by floods, fires and other disasters is asked to consider donating to the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, visiting www.redcross.org, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to charge a $10 donation to their cell phone bill.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.