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Residents still dealing with "bank walkaways" damaged by August flood

6 months 1 week 5 days ago Monday, January 09 2017 Jan 9, 2017 January 09, 2017 10:38 PM January 09, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A sign hangs in the front of Leroy and Karen Aucion's home that reads "You can't wash us away."

It's a message to the August flood.

But the Aucions, along with other residents in Woodlawn Acres neighborhood, are facing a disturbing reminder of the flood.

A foreclosed home in their neighborhood hasn't been touched since the flood. That's because it was foreclosed on and is owned by U.S. Bank.

Kenneth Smith, who also lives near the house, says there's no reason the damaged property should remain unattended.

"Just because they are owned by the bank or the government, you would think they would still have to bring them to the point where they would be safe for the rest of the people living in the subdivision," Smith told News 2's Taylor Evans.

Today, the property is covered in toxic black mold. It's one of the many homes that have yet to be gutted following the flood.

Another mold infested property, owned by the federal government, sits just a few blocks away.

The Department of Housing told residents it would be over 18 months before they get to it. So residents took matters into their own hands and gutted it themselves, but they say something else needs to be done.

"I've been spraying for mold, about 7 gallons to keep the mold down, and the mold is still growing," Leroy said.

Residents living on either side of the unit said the toxic spores are causing them to get sick and the mold is negatively impacting the neighborhood.

"Well the property value is already down on account of the flood, and this just makes it 10 times worse. because if someone trying to by the place next door walked in here and saw this...they wouldn't give us a dime," Leroy said.

Leroy said that even though gutting the property isn't his responsibility, he just wants everyone to keep everyone safe.

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