Three months after floods, Oneida family still looking for a place to live
Thu, 26 Sep 2013 20:05:57 GMT —
In June waters roared above their banks, wreaking havoc for neighbors across Central New York.
One of the hardest hit communities was Oneida.
Now into September, one family is still living out of a motel.
It has been three months since Jennifer Rodriguez could cook her family dinner or tuck her kids into their own beds.
She can see her dishes, but her Oneida home is condemned. The kitchen is gutted.
"We can't go home, we have no floors, no walls, no nothing," she says.
Her four children's beds are secured under tarps in the yard, while the family tries to find a place to live.
Since June, the family of six has had to share a small hotel room.
They've been trying to find a house or an apartment they could rent month to month until they can sell their condemned house and move -- but they haven't been able to find anything.
Rodriguez has been told it could take up to 18 to 24 months for the state to buy out the house.
That's why the family is storing the few remaining belongings that survived the flood under tarps and tents.
"Looking at it everyday, it's horrible," she says. "My kids, all four of my kids look at it every day and say, when can we go home? We can't."
Rodriguez says she doesn't know what she would do without the help she's received from neighbors and complete strangers.
Teachers at North Broad Elementary where her children go have been bringing home-cooked meals to the family at the motel.
Rodriguez says she and her husband try to keep routines and not let their children see how much stress they are feeling.
"The kids are being really resilient. I've been holding my tears since the end of June because I feel if I let a little bit go, the kids are going to break down.