Hurricane Ida evacuee ‘nervous wreck’ about going home and uncertainty following storm

National News

LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The Mike Daniel Recreation Center on Lafayette Parkway has been named a temporary shelter for Hurricane Ida evacuees. The center was opened to evacuees on Aug. 31, 2021 and will close on Sep. 2, 2021 at noon. However, evacuees can still receive food, water and gas cards until Sep. 3, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Keyon Williams, an evacuee if Ida and Hurricane Katrina survivor, said she and her family had to leave New Orleans and made a stop in Alabama before arriving in LaGrange.

“Right now, I am just nerves. I’m a nervous wreck right now cause it’s like we’re running out of money. I was a child then for Katrina, so now I have three kids, so it’s kind of hard seeing them go through this, knowing that we don’t know when we’ll be able to go back home yet,” said Williams.

Williams does not know the condition of her belongings back home and has received text messages from the emergency services in Louisiana saying it is best not to return at this moment. She said the help she has received has been very limited. She is unsure if she should return home because of the messages she has been receiving from the Louisiana emergency services.

Williams said once the shelter closes tomorrow she does not know where she and her family will go. She does not believe she can return home and does not have the money to rent different places.

Michael Strickland, the Deputy Fire Chief and Emergency Management Agency Director, said the decision to set up a shelter was made by the American Red Cross. The Red Cross sent staff and provided the resources and Troup County sent security and provided the recreation center.

“The majority of people that are just passing through are trying to get back towards their home in Louisiana. They’re providing them resources to try to get them back home whether it’s food and rest here and gas cards if they’re residents of Louisiana to assist them getting back home,” said Strickland.

The Red Cross is also providing sleeping cots and blankets and is currently open 24 hours for the evacuees.

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