Mississippi man says he can’t cash check to repair flooded house until shutdown ends

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HORN LAKE, Miss. — While we’ve told you about the hundreds of thousands of furloughed and essential workers feeling the impact of it all of the government shutdown, that reach extends even farther.

Flooding caused half a foot of damage in Steve Mann’s home on Brenda cove Lane in Horne Lake, Mississippi.

He’s got insurance and a check to make the repairs. But he can’t cash it, because it’s made out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture – which is closed because of the shutdown.

Just three days into the new year, Mann’s home flooded.

“When you have something like this happen, what do you do? You’re stuck,” he said.

A waterline broke inside the home, while Mann and his family were away.

“I live here with my sis and her six kids. Including, a child who has medical issues,” he said. “The water ran for a couple of hours and was five or six inches deeps throughout the whole house.”

Even though most of the things the family cherished ended up underwater, Mann says keeping the home is what matters most.

It’s all that’s left that reminds him of his mother and father who passed away in 2018.

“The house, when my parents bought it – they got it through USDA,” Mann said.

The tie to the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t seem like a big deal until Mann got a check to make the repairs needed from his insurance company.

“I’ve done my part. I’ve signed the back. State Farm even verified it. But now I gotta wait on USDA to sign it and stamp it to cash it,” Mann said.

Since it’s made out to both him and the USDA, there’s no way around it.

“Nobody will touch it until they sign it,” Mann said.

H says the shutdown needs to end.

“This is hurting everyone. Not just workers, but the everyday public.”

In the meantime, his family’s home is in shambles. And because they’ve got no place to go, they have put mattresses on the floor and are making due.

“I’m lost. I don’t know what to do,” he said. “I have $12,000 in my pocket to fix this house. I’ve got no way to cash the check.”

We’re told the USDA office in Batesville, Mississippi would handle the check.

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