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Hotels booked, flood survivors having difficulty finding room

5 months 1 week 12 hours ago October 18, 2016 Oct 18, 2016 Tuesday, October 18 2016 October 18, 2016 6:21 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - FEMA extended it's checkout date for disaster survivors staying in hotels, but many hotels are booked solid. 

Cerita Smith was told she had to checkout of her hotel Tuesday morning, since it's booked and can no longer accommodate her. She's been staying there for a couple weeks since her apartment flooded.

"I've been to like six different hotels before I got here," said Smith.

She found out Tuesday morning she had to pack up and leave.

"It's already after 11 and I'm still trying to pack up my stuff and get out of here," she told News Two.

Smith's apartment flooded two months ago and since, has been bouncing around from hotel to hotel. A couple days there and a couple weeks at another place. It's been especially difficult for her two kids.

"It's an everyday struggle of trying, you know, they go to school wondering if we're going to have somewhere to stay when we get home," she said.

FEMA tells News Two it doesn't have any control over hotel booking, but there are plenty of hotels in Louisiana that participate in the shelter assistance program. Smith spent a good portion of her morning on the phone calling around to check availability at hotels. The closest ones with vacancy were about an hour away.

On Your Side called Smith Tuesday evening. She found a hotel in Houma and says it's going to be difficult to get her children to school in the morning.

The new checkout date for disaster survivors participating in FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance program is Nov. 18. A FEMA evacuee hotel list can be found here.

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