Flooding victims fearful of scavengers

Flooding victims fearful of scavengers

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hauling your water logged possessions to the curb is troubling enough.  Scavengers add to the suffering, digging through mountains of personal items. Just ask resident James Lee.

"It makes you want to cry. It's unbelievable. I don't know what to do," Lee said.

They showed up right after the flood, according to resident association president Ann McNair.

"They would stop from one dump pile to another. In front of people's houses, on their property and just pick up. They had a truck load when they left here," McNair explained.

Some, like resident Chip Peaks, have harsh words for the scavengers who rip open bags, and leave the leftovers all over the yards.

"We've already bagged it once. And then you have to turn around and do it again because some guy is adding to our misery. On top of all of this other stuff, this is almost like looting," Peaks said.

In addition to material goods, Lee fears something else might be taken.

"Our personal items could be in there and they could take it and use it take our identity."

Today's trash could be a clue to the future, another concern for Peaks.

"Those people can understand that that some are probably going to get a check or something from an insurance company to replace this stuff, then all of a sudden we've got new stuff that they maybe can break in while the house is still damaged and take it."

For the residents of Wingate, in addition to the concerns about scavenging, in addition to the concerns about tipping off future purchases, they are also concerned about getting paid for their losses.

"There's the insurance factor. They want to see that stuff. Some people insurance agents haven't made it our here. They want to see what was damaged. And if it's gone, they can't see it," McNair explained.

Now, all the people who live here want is to see an end to this man made storm.

Wingate residents have complained to police, who tell them they are keeping an eye on the area.  Police also recommend that no one leave any sensitive information out on the curb without first shredding it.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.