Isaac recovery seems impossible for some in Pearlington - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Isaac recovery seems impossible for some in Pearlington

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Ninety four year old Lillie Sams's home flooded during Hurricane Isaac. Her house has been mucked out and her belongings lay on the roadside, but her daughter, Orelia Marshall, says for now that is all she can do. Ninety four year old Lillie Sams's home flooded during Hurricane Isaac. Her house has been mucked out and her belongings lay on the roadside, but her daughter, Orelia Marshall, says for now that is all she can do.
PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) -

Ninety four year old Lillie Sams's home flooded during Hurricane Isaac. Her house has been mucked out and her belongings lay on the roadside, but her daughter, Orelia Marshall, says for now that is all she can do.

"The problem we are facing here is obtaining our building permit for my mother to get back in her home, and from what I'm understanding, it's because of the flooding," Marshall said.

According to Hancock County's preventative flood ordinance, if your home receives a certain amount of damage from storms within ten years, you must elevate your home to current standards.

Homeowners who repaired after Katrina seven years ago must now follow these rules to fix Isaac's mess, and there is very little financial help available.

Hancock County Building Official Anthony Cuevas said, "If you have flood insurance and you are in the NFIP, you can inquire a $30,000 increase cost of compliance to help you elevate or demolish your home and re-locate to another area."

"We love Pearlington and we would hate to have to leave and our houses to go up," Lillie Sams said. "We have no money to put them up, that's the main thing, I guess they don't mind it but the money is the thing."

Sams, like many others, has a fixed income so coming up with the money to elevate is nearly impossible.

Resident Charles Burton said, "It was $130,000 and I don't have $130,000 to do it with, so I'm just going to take it a day at a time."

Supervisor David Yarbrough said there is little flexibility in the rules governing flood zones, so finding a solution will not be easy.

"There may be some clauses in the ordinance we can possibly change to get some relief on this, but that's to see. I can't say that right now. These people are in a bad situation. The questions I'm asking, I'm not getting the right answers. So I am digging deeper, deeper and deeper," Yarbrough said.

Marshall hopes someone finds the right answer to help her mother.

"All we want to do, darlin, is help my mother live again. She is 94-years-old and I just ask God, God please just one more time allow her to get back into her home," Marshall said.

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