Residents struggle to come back months after the flood
BATON ROUGE- It has been more than two months since epic flooding destroyed property and changed lives forever. One of the hardest hit areas of East Baton Rouge Parish is off of Joor Road near Prescott.
Those who aren't back yet, say they plan to come back despite the hell they've been through from high water.
In August, water was up to the rooftops. A boat was the only way to access Tracy Avenue. The sights were reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as people in Baton Rouge had to be plucked from rooftops. Maria Rodriguez just moved back home.
"The water was full, at door, full full," Rodriguez said.
Basic amenities Rodriguez enjoyed before the flood are no more. Her home still has no running water. Rodriguez told WBRZ she pays her landlord about $600 per month to live here, and she did all the repairs herself totaling nearly $5,000.
"Me fix the sheetrock, me fix everything," Rodriguez said.
Maria Marta is Rodriguez's neighbor. She's also trying to get back home, despite the neighborhood she's called home for 13 years looking like a wasteland.
"It's almost all Hispanic people living in this place," Marta said. "A lot of people want to come back to this place."
Marta lost everything like her neighbors. Despite the entire area being in a flood zone, no one back here is relying on the feds for help to come back. They're doing it themselves, one duplex at a time.
"Everybody in here almost all are illegal," Marta said. "FEMA pay nothing to those people. The people lost everything...what do they do? Working, working, working hard."
Tonight Marta is doing a lot of manual labor. She isn't complaining. She's ready to get her community back together even if means it might take a while.
"Thanks god, I live," Marta said.
Residents estimate the flooding displaced more than 1,000 people in that neighborhood.