SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The winter storm that hit Lousiana in February is still affecting local homeowners, leaving significant damage in its wake. An elderly retired teacher who lived in her home for more than 50 years talks about her severely damaged home that still is suffering from the aftermath of the storm.
At 81-years old, Mrs. Jannie Moss has lived in her Cedar Grove home for 52 of those years. She opened her home and shared her experience of returning home after the 2021 winter storm and finding everything she spent a lifetime working for ruined.
Just before the storm hit, Moss left her house to avoid being snowed-in, taking advantage of the Salvation Army program that offered hotel rooms for senior citizens to stay for the week. But when the snow finally melted and she went home, she was devastated.
The damage is so bad she was a bit embarrassed to show it all and how she’s forced to live now. “I opened my entrance door and came into the kitchen, and water met me at the door because the water was standing,” she said.
The frigid weather, which hovered in the single digits for several days, caused her pipes to freeze and then burst, flooding her entire home. In Moss’s absence, the water stood, ruining her floor, furniture, cabinets, everything, for more than a week. It not only caused her washer and dryer to be shorted out, but the water also led to mold growth.
“It stood for weeks before I could even get it out of the backrooms. It damaged a lot. I had to wade water and try to sweep and clear it out. So it was horrible,” Moss said.
She said the pipes continue to leak, leaving water spots throughout her home, leaving her kitchen so damaged that she can’t cook in it safely, so receives food from her family and Caddo Meals on Wheels.
“My sink cabinet is rotten and my floor in my kitchen has gotten soft and water is still running. It was totally devastating just to imagine opening up your door and going into your kitchen and there’s all this water looking at you. I didn’t know what to do,” Moss said.
But she worked hard for her home and doesn’t want to let it go. “I picked up cans and sold junk to pay for this house and now it’s almost gone if I don’t see some help,” Moss said.
She said she doesn’t have another option. She’s on a fixed income, living off her retirement pension for school teaching in Louisiana. She said she could never afford homeowners insurance.
Moss is at a loss of what to do. She spends her days doing what she can around her house, removing tiles and sweeping away dirt and debris. But at her age, there’s only so much she can do physically and financially.
“It’s just so much,” Moss said. “So much damage. It can hardly make you fathom how damaged it is. But I know I’m still blessed.”
Because Moss does not have internet or television, she was unaware of what options are available for people severely affected by the storm, so we connected her with a program through the City of Shreveport that helps with plumbing assistance through the Department of Community Development, as well as with the Shreveport Red Cross.