Banton plans next step after storm
The storm had done its deed. A sour smell was in the air. In the coming weeks, mold will make itself comfortable in the Banton home like the smiling picture frames that decorate the living room of the residence.
This past weekend, stormy weather tackled communities in Brewton and East Brewton. Minor damage was done in some areas, but for some like Genikqua Banton, the weather left questions in its wake.
Early Sunday morning, Banton was at her trailer home with her three children, and another child, when some rough weather swept through the Pea Ridge area.
Fearing for her family, Banton gathered the kids in a hallway bathroom, grabbed some comforters and a mattress, and waited for the weather to pass through.
“We stayed (in the bathroom) until it died off,” said Banton.
At that point the damage had been done. The trailer foundations shifted and water leaked from the roof.
Banton, a single mother, said she and her kids have lived in their trailer home for two years, but after the storm she feels uncomfortable living there anymore.
“We can’t stay,” Banton said. “It’s not safe to stay here. I just can’t have a peace of mind living with my children here.”
The local American Red Cross, who assists in the matters of disaster relief, has reached out to Banton.
“We assist anyway we can to help until their insurance gets here,” said Red Cross disaster relief specialist, Maggie Dozier. “We assist with the necessities like food, water and lodging.”
Dozier said its important for people in the community to know American Red Cross is available to help in need.
“Everybody is gracious enough to donate,” Dozier said. “It’s our goal to make sure people know we’re here when disaster strikes.”
Banton’s insurance company deemed her trailer property as fixable, and will give compensation based on damages assessed.
Upon hearing the damage assessment, Banton was disappointed in the decision, but is doing all she can to look forward to a better tomorrow. She is relying on family and friends for temporary living arrangements.
Still, while the dilapidated trailer sits, Banton is worried about cost and the amount of time repairs will take. Which pushes her even more to try to find a different home.
“I can’t afford staying here, and having an apartment,” Banton said.
Banton said she will weigh here options but is leaning towards renting an apartment where the fear of a damaged home for her and her children won’t be an issue.
For disaster relief contact the local American Red Cross office at 251.867.3426 or Dozier at 251.867.5936.