Flood victims on their own after denial of individual FEMA aid

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Property owners hoping for individual disaster assistance from the federal government are left to figure how to recover on their own after the help was denied earlier this week.

It is not the news hundreds along the Red River basin in the ArkLaTex wanted to hear.

"It was bad out here," said Sammy Charchio.

Sammy Charchio has lived in his home off Wells Island Road since the 1950s. When the Red River kept rising, he had to move out.

The water went up about four and a half feet inside his home. And now more than a month later, he is still unable to go home.

"Chances are very slim that I'll ever live here again," said Charchio.

He had contents insurance, which covered everything inside his home, but it did not cover water damage. Now that individual disaster assistance has been denied, he says he does not know what to do next.

"As far as money coming in from a new place, you know, I'm retired so I do what I have to do," said Charchio.

While federal financial help is coming to the area after the disaster declaration for public governments, the Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed the denial Tuesday because they say the damage in Caddo and Bossier parishes to homes did not meet certain criteria. Among the criteria evaluated is the level of insurance in place for homeowners and the available assistance from other sources.

Charchio has a camper in his yard, but with no electricity or water, it is not yet livable. The shell of his home will cost too much to get back in live-in shape.

"I would just guess, if you had to put this home back in living condition, I would guess you're talking about $50 thousand-plus," said Charchio.

The state still has 30 days to appeal the denial for individual assistance.

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