Hurricane Ida evacuees stuck in Texas, unsure about when they'll go home

As clean up continues, those who fled Louisiana are waiting to find out when they can go home.

Nick Natario Image
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Hurricane Ida evacuees stuck in Texas unsure when they'll go home
Officials fear the longer it takes for power to get restored in Louisiana from Hurricane Ida, the more it will create a bigger need in Texas. That's why there are plans that are underway to help evacuees. ABC13's Nick Natario shows you the work Houston's food bank is putting in to help, but assistance is needed.

ORANGE, Texas (KTRK) -- With power out for hundreds of thousands of people due to Hurricane Ida, Texas officials are bracing for the need to shelter evacuees from Louisiana in the coming days.

Ahead of Hurricane Ida, Garnet Scott, and her family left their home.

"It's hard. It's very, very hard. We don't know what's going on or nothing," Scott said.

Scott and 12 others evacuated from Assumption Parish, which is just west of New Orleans. They made it to Texas, but are unsure of the home they left behind.

"I think the phone lines are down," Scott said. "We're trying to get in touch with everybody, but nobody we could get in touch with."

As Scott looked for a place to stay, the only thing big enough was a suite for $900 - which was much for their budget.

"It was heartbreaking," Scott recalled. "Very heartbreaking, because that is too much for a room for one night."

Instead of paying hundreds, Scott and her family's prayers were answered in a house they usually visit on Sundays. The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Orange Church of God, just beyond the state line.

It's one of two shelters the agency opened.

"They don't know if they can go back, or [if] they're able to go back, or when they can go back," American Red Cross spokesperson Chester Jourdan said. "We'll be here to help them, and provide that assistance."

Red Cross officials said Texas and Louisiana are working together to see if more shelters need to open. They fear with hundreds of thousands without power, the need will increase over the coming days. If it does, a mega-site will open.

"All our hotels are at capacity," Jourdan explained. "Unfortunately, they know they're getting to a point where they don't have a lot of resources, a lot of money, and they're going to be looking for additional alternatives."

If you want to help, the Red Cross said financial donations to groups like their own, Catholic Charities, and the Salvation Army would be of great assistance. You could also volunteer.

On Monday, a number of volunteers turned out to Gallery Furniture, including college students, Aidan Labat and Jacob Verdin. They loaded trucks because they know how bad the need is.

They evacuated from Louisiana, but their families from Houma stayed behind and sent them videos showing the destruction.

"Houma got messed up," Labat said. "A lot of businesses messed up. A lot of people lost their [homes] and stuff. Everything got messed up really."

That reason is why the college students are so thankful to see Houstonians help.

"I definitely appreciate all the help," Verdin explained. "It makes you feel like you're not alone in this situation ... at a time when you need the most help and support. Just like they said we supported them during Harvey. It definitely feels good. I hope it all works out for everybody."

For more Hurricane Ida aftermath updates, follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.