Gladwin County family still living in tents weeks after flooding, makes plea for more help

Published: Jun. 15, 2020 at 2:51 PM EDT
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(6/15/20) - A Gladwin County family that lives on Wixom Lake is still living in tents and a camper nearly a month after floodwaters destroyed their home.

Jenn Luttman lives with her fiancé and 9-year-old son and their home was destroyed after two dams failed and flooded the area.

"It's the little things you don't realize that are important," she said. "Like running water, a toilet. We're very fortunate enough to have been able to get a porta potty but not having water, just every day things."

Luttman said that in the weeks that have followed the flooding, they've tried to adjust to a new life. They do dishes with buckets of water, sleep on air mattresses and are living out of a cooler.

"You feel like a bad parent, even when you're not a bad parent because you can't give your kid like, there is no normal anymore," she said. "You know when after COVID everything was already not normal, not working and I'm sorry it's just emotional."

They spend their days cleaning up as they try to pick up the pieces of their life. And since the flooding, they've faced obstacle after obstacle.

Luttman said they've had to fight off looters and don't want to leave their property. They were denied help from their insurance company and have struggled to get help from the American Red Cross or FEMA because a lot of the documents they need were destroyed in the flood.

Luttman said that she reached out to many people living in the area and found dozens of other people going through the same thing.

"That's why I'm reaching out to you so that hopefully we can make it aware that there are so many people, lots of people that are displaced and people that need help," she said.

And help is what Luttman wants. Not just for her family but for everyone who has been impacted.

"We don't expect handouts but they have to, the community has to come together or the government has to like step up and help us because we're kind of between a rock and a hard place and no one knows what to do," Luttman said.

Resources for people impacted by the flooding can be found by dialing 2-1-1.