“The ferry broke in the river,” said Kerri Chandler, regional director of the Southwestern Louisiana Flood Conservation Department, after an emergency call on Sunday afternoon. Her staff called the United States Coast Guard and checked the river’s camera to see where the ferry was. They placed it downstream of New Orleans, near Jackson Barracks.
There was no traffic on the Mississippi River, but unmoored vessels could hit the embankment and cause damage during the storm. As soon as the wind falls below the level of the hurricane, a tugboat will be dispatched to return the ferry to safety. But at the moment of Sunday, it floated freely.
At dawn, many in New Orleans illuminated their homes with candles and flashlights.
Samantha Egana was surprised that she still had power in her home in the Gentilly district of New Orleans hours after the storm struck. “No one else has the lights,” said 56-year-old Egana. “My daughter’s uptown, no lights. Another daughter in the east, no lights.”
In 2005, Egana walked through the water to her chest, called a boat, and came home to save her children and grandchildren, including her grandson Moses, who was only three months old at the time.
“This isn’t Katrina,” she said, looking out the window. She thought she could withstand the rain and wind, and added that the water was “steadily pouring, but not pooling.”
“It will pass,” she said. “It will be okay.”
Report provided by Henry Fountain, Richard Fauset, Rick Rojas, Tarilo Musezeva, Edgar Sandoval, Julia Hayward, Eduardo Medina, Sophie Casacobe, E. Justice Wanson When Jesus Jimenez..