Low on Dollars and Diapers, La. Family of 7 Looks for Refuge After Ida

2 weeks ago 5
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For Shelly Savoie, clip is moving retired astatine the Motel 6 successful Bossier City, Louisiana. So are diapers and dollars.

Savoie and her household of six fled their location successful a New Orleans suburb connected the West Bank of the Mississippi stream arsenic powerful Hurricane Ida deed the region, knocking retired powerfulness for thousands, destroying homes and flooding streets. But the contiguous alleviation she felt astatine having been capable to flight the storm's demolition has fixed mode to galore anxieties.

Savoie's biggest interest is that she volition tally retired of money. She thought she would lone person to enactment successful a edifice for astir 3 nights. Now she's discovered that wide powerfulness outages crossed the authorities — including successful Jefferson Parish, wherever she lives — might not beryllium resolved for weeks. She besides recovered retired that the ceiling of her location partially caved successful erstwhile Ida passed done and that histrion limbs fell connected the location and crossed her yard.

“I’m connected edge, definitely,” Savoie told The Associated Press connected Monday successful Facebook messages written during a interruption from making calls to the Red Cross. “I’m trying to enactment calm, particularly astir the kids."

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It's not easy. Savoie is acrophobic she could suffer her job: The telephone cause for 2 large retail stores near her machine astatine location erstwhile she rushed retired with her 2-year-old duplicate daughters; her 11-year-old son; her 17-year-old girl and the daughter's 18-year-old boyfriend; and the young couple's 6-month-old son.

“If I’m incapable to enactment aft truthful long, they fto you go,” she said.

While displaced, Savoie's 17-year-old, Ressa, is missing school, wherever she is studying forensic science. Ressa's boyfriend, Timothy, is besides missing school, wherever helium is moving to get his HVAC license, arsenic good arsenic his occupation moving nights astatine a supermarket.

Thousands of radical with the resources to bash truthful fled earlier Ida — 1 of the astir almighty hurricanes ever to onslaught the U.S. — roared ashore successful Louisiana connected Sunday. But galore without the funds for state oregon a edifice country were near behind.

Ida made landfall Sunday arsenic a Category 4 storm, bringing with it beardown winds, infrastructure harm and flooding.

Savoie, 39, said she tried to program up to get herself, the babies and the 3 teenagers retired of harm's way. She booked a country astatine Motel 6 3 days up of time, and they each loaded into her tiny SUV connected Saturday with conscionable a fewer outfits apiece and immoderate cash, "thinking we would instrumentality rapidly after.”

With constricted resources, staying astatine a edifice for overmuch longer is not truly an option. Savoie said she's besides going to tally retired of diapers soon.

Savoie said she applied for assistance for her household done the Federal Emergency Management Agency connected Monday, but had not heard back. She was capable to yet get done to the Red Cross aft aggregate calls and an hr connected hold, but was told the bureau could lone assistance her if she made it to a shelter.

Staying astatine a structure is thing Savoie is trying desperately to debar astatine a clip erstwhile the delta variant of the coronavirus is raging done Louisiana, a authorities with 1 of the highest rates of caller microorganism cases per capita and 1 of the lowest vaccination rates successful the U.S.

“Shelters are not COVID-safe,” she said. “I’d alternatively slumber successful my car.”

Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph P. Lopinto, III addressed his departments rescue efforts aft Ida swept done Louisiana.

Leah Willingham is simply a corps subordinate for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is simply a nonprofit nationalist work programme that places journalists successful section newsrooms to study connected undercovered issues.

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