BATON ROUGE - More than a month after people were rescued from the Old Hammond area of Baton Rouge, there's a moldy mess going. Amid the renovation in Hammond Manor, a house sits untouched since the flood.
Possessions have been piled to the curb and the debris collectors have already been by once leaving brown and muddy yards behind. One yard on the street remains pristine, the grass clean and clear of debris.
"Nobody's been there," said Louise Johnson.
About three and a half feet of water destroyed belongings and flooded homes in Hammond Manor last month. Johnson, who's lived in her home for 15 years says she hasn't seen her neighbor since the water came up.
"Her house hasn't been opened, I imagine it smells to high heaven," she said.
The home is about 12 feet from Johnson's and neighbors say the owner is in a nursing home. To be safe, Johnson called the Sheriff's Office for a welfare check Tuesday. Wearing masks, deputies searched the home and there were no signs of the owner. Now, Johnson is concerned about the mold growing inside.
"I don't know what effect it's going to have on us living this close," she said.
She's at a roadblock and fears the home next door could be like this for months.
Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso says without the homeowner, there aren't many options.
"The best thing to do is to find this lady and get the proper permission," he said.
The home is not considered blight, since the damage is contained to inside the house. Even if it were, Amoroso says blight court has been put on hold for the time being, while people recover from the flood.
"Right now, the city does not feel a compelling need to go in and to clean-up a house," he said. "Right now the message is the faith-based communities, businesses that are helping people, neighbors helping people."
Amoroso says Trinity Lutheran Church have volunteered to send a group over to clean out the Hammond Manor home, pending approval from the homeowner.
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