TUNICA, MS -- Confusion in Tunica is leading to frustrated city workers and angry homeowners. Flood recovery has hit a snag in the Cutoff after a miscommunication between FEMA and the County Planning Commission. Because of it, rebuilding homes damaged in the floods has stalled.
People have been cleaning up for three weeks, but they're having to wait to rebuild and are no closer to going home.
"We're just lost," says Megan Bollet. "Me and 600 other people wandering the earth, wondering do we move on or do we move in? Let us know something. It's terrible, unbelievable the way we've all been treated."
Bollet is frustrated, trying to figure out what to do with what's left of her house in the Cutoff.
"Nothing's left," she says. "It's studs. All the way down to studs, nothing in there."
She hasn't been able to start rebuilding, and is upset after hearing one message from the county and a different one from FEMA
"They've been changing it as you go. First they said have to be this model and standard and then this," she says.
County Planner Pepper Bradford is upset too.
"To be honest, when FEMA showed up problems started," Bradford says.
Now he's the one fielding all the questions and angry phone calls.
"99 percent of that is coming from different branches of FEMA running around loose saying things they shouldn't be saying," he says. "They're telling people your house is fine, you can go ahead and repair."
But Bradford says they can't. No one can start rebuilding without the county's permission, and it's his job to make sure they don't.
"One homeowner driving one nail without permission," says Bradfod, "and we no longer get any money."
All of Tunica's federal money could be cut off if they don't follow proper building guidelines. Bradford says it's not just FEMA money that's on the line. It's every federal dollar that Tunica gets. If someone makes a repair that isn't approved, all of it could be cut off.
"Some people are frustrated saying 'I'm going to repair my home anyway,' but if they do that it's going to cause a world of hurt for this county," he says.
Bollet would like to to start repairs. But so far, she's waiting and not patiently.
"My husband's a contractor so he could have had it put back together by now," she says. "But he can't because they won't let us know what to do."
Until all this confusion can be cleared up, and final approvals given, her frustration and everyone else's, will pile up along with all of the trash that's sitting in their yards.