'People want to go back. But I'll never': Displaced Mud Lake woman wonders what's next

Seven months after the flood, fear of the water is keeping Verna White from Mud Lake, where she lived for 33 years.

Seven months after flooding displaced Mud Lake residents, Verna White says she's too scared to go home

Her Mud Lake house is livable again but Verna White says she's too scared to go back after a flood in May forced her and the rest of the town from their homes. (Katie Breen/CBC)

Verna White isn't getting any sleep.

Four months ago, she thought 5 Wing Goose Bay was a wonderful home, even if she'd been airlifted out of her flooded hometown of Mud Lake in May.

Months later, the uncertainty is getting to her.

'I'm frightened to death'

White said after six months in Goose Bay, she doesn't know what's next for her.

"We all knows we had to leave. We knew that, right? And then go back to whatever, if there was anything to go back to, and people are adjusting to that. The thing with me now is,  I'm frightened to death."

That's why she finds herself tossing and turning, snatching a nap here and there when she can.

"There's worse off people than me," she said. "They lost everything they had. Their homes, you know. Everything. But thank god ours was limited to the basement. But that water … maid, I can't get over that. Cannot. To see it come so quick. A blink of an eye, that's all it was."

Verna White has been staying at 5 Wing Goose Bay for seven months, but is supposed to be out Jan. 1. (Katie Breen/CBC)

It's the fear of the water that's keeping White away from Mud Lake, which she doesn't plan to return to other than to retrieve belongings from her house. She was able to use relief money to fix her home, but says she's too scared to go back there to live.

She's been informed that she'll have to move out of the barracks Jan. 1, and she's hoping to qualify for some Newfoundland and Labrador Housing.

I think what the province is doing is just forgetting us, because they can.- Verna White

"I'd go in a home, an old people's home. I don't mind, if there's anything vacant," she said, adding she doesn't mind leaving the barracks because she always knew it was supposed to be temporary.

"Everybody else done their job, but to me, the government failed us, the provincial government," she said.

And she doesn't accept the government's report that says the flooding was caused by natural causes — ice jammed up at the mouth of the Churchill River, causing water to spill over the riverbank.

"I think what the province is doing is just forgetting us, because they can," she said. "Some people can live in Mud Lake, and some people want to go back. But I'll never. I can't."