Flood victim: All I have is the clothes on my back

“Nev­er thought I would hit rock bot­tom, I’m home­less! All I have is my ATM card and the clothes on my back.”

These were the words of a flood vic­tim who pre­ferred to be iden­ti­fied on­ly as Ja­son.

Ja­son, yes­ter­day joined the sor­row-strick­en com­mu­ni­ty of Green­vale Park, La Hor­quet­ta, that was se­vere­ly af­fect­ed by Fri­day’s near 24-hour long down­pour, which left the com­mu­ni­ty un­der high lev­els of wa­ter, de­stroy­ing homes, cars and oth­er valu­ables.

“There’s no longer a com­mu­ni­ty there,” says a de­spon­dent-sound­ing Ja­son. The com­mu­ni­ty is ba­si­cal­ly un­der wa­ter. They say it is sub­sid­ing but we know the rain is com­ing again and it pos­si­ble it can hap­pen again.”

Ja­son who lived with his fam­i­ly at Green­vale Park for the past three years, spent Fri­day night for the first time apart, as they sought tem­po­rary shel­ter at the var­i­ous homes of fam­i­ly mem­bers. He tells Sun­day Guardian he has noth­ing to sal­vage.

“Miss, I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen next. I don’t know. Right now I have no home and no hope.”

He said it was the worst his com­mu­ni­ty had ever ex­pe­ri­enced fol­low­ing the rains.

Re­call­ing the events told to him by his wife who was home alone with their son at the time of the ris­ing wa­ter lev­els, Ja­son de­scribed it as sur­re­al and “movie like.

“She told me in­side the house the wa­ter lev­els had reached knee high, so res­i­dents fil­tered out in­to the road­way where it was reach­ing chest-lev­el.

“Peo­ple who got out of their homes in time had to car­ry their chil­dren, some new­born ba­bies, on their backs and make their way through a track that leads out to La Hor­quet­ta where the wa­ter lev­el was a bit low­er,” Ja­son ex­plains.

Asked to give an es­ti­mate of his loss­es, Ja­son replies “I can­not place a val­ue. I prac­ti­cal­ly just fin­ished re­fur­bish­ing that en­tire house from the ground up. It cost me twice the amount I bought that house for.”

He al­so lost two ve­hi­cles in the flood dev­as­ta­tion.

He said he does not have an im­me­di­ate plan go­ing for­ward as it was all too much to process.

“I have been kind of spaced out, just feel­ing lost. To go from be­ing com­fort­able to hav­ing noth­ing…I just don’t know what to say. I am just hop­ing for the best.”