Historic Home In Jeopardy

An 82-year-old Long Beach woman whose historic home was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina is asking for your help.

She has minimal insurance and is running out of time for FEMA to pick up her debris. One of Long Beach's oldest homes may soon be just a memory.

"We moved here May the 31st in 1944. It was a mansion then. It looks bad now to other people but it is still my mansion," said Leona Watts.

When Leona Watts moved into her home on 4th street it was surrounded by woods, and she had a clear view of the beach. Her down payment was $500.

"You see I got my beach view back again," said Watts.

Alderman Richard Notter is asking for help to hold onto Long Beach's history.

"The heritage of Long Beach is some of these historic sites. And I think we should do whatever we can to save these," said Notter.

Watts slept through the brunt of Katrina, and woke with no idea what was in store for her on August 30th.

"I was planning on coming back the next morning. But when I woke up, I had the clothes that I wore over there and that was it. I had nothing left. I still have nothing left," said Watts.

"There has been a lot of groups who have volunteered to come help but this takes a certain expertise. We need someone who knows how to restore a house that has been built more than 100 years ago," said Notter.

"If it could be rebuilt, of course I would want to see it back in shape. But I want it more for Long Beach. Long Beach is a beautiful little community and this house really stood out. Everybody admired it, everybody loved it. Not because it was mine but because of the structure and the way it was built," said Watts.

If you think you can help Mrs. Watts restore her historic home, call 575-9422.

By Keitha Nelson