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Veteran caught up in flood construction hoping to return home soon

BATON ROUGE - A WWII veteran says construction on his flood-damaged home is taking far longer than expected.

Sam A. Moran says he wants nothing more than to move back home.

"I've been waiting for something to happen," said Moran.

The homeowner, who is 91 years old, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer. He built his Baton Rouge home himself and is putting all his hope into moving home so he can relax and take care of his two dogs. While Restore Louisiana says it offered to provide housing assistance through the Louisiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Moran slept in his gutted home while he waited for something to happen and construction to begin.

In November 2017, a Restore Louisiana contractor walked through Moran's home, reviewing the project scope. In April 2018, his grant agreement was approved. Now months later, there is still a lot left to do.

The long delay has created frustration Moran only wishes to turn into progress. It's why he contacted 2 On Your Side and Tuesday was happy to see a large construction crew at his home.

Restore Louisiana and Dynamic Construction tells WBRZ there has been a hold-up with Moran's case. The house had to be completely rewired and there's an ongoing discussion about how to best address his heating and cooling system. Prior to the flood, Moran's cooling system was incredibly outdated, consisting of window units and an attic fan. In the meantime, Moran has been staying at his nephew's house and drives 40 miles each day to Baton Rouge to take care of his dogs.

The unanswered decision from Restore Louisiana is why there are still open walls in his home. Restore says this process is not as straightforward when it comes to replacing items that were damaged by the flood. It does say that all parties involved continue to figure out how to best make repairs to make sure the homeowner has a working heating and cooling system that is compliant with all HUD requirements.

Restore says at this time it is unsure if a central AC system will be approved under the program guidelines. Either way, it hopes to have construction at Moran's home wrapped up in the next few weeks.



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