Allison Smith wasn’t thinking about where she would go next. She has been keeping boxes since she moved to a two-bedroom apartment in the Chatokureor Complex a year ago, and plans to put clothes and other belongings in the U-Hall along with her bed and sofa. Was there. , And drive it to the nearest storage unit she finds — two hours away. Then she thinks about where to live.
“I hadn’t even thought so far,” Smith said when she and her boyfriend packed up.
Residents of the estate loaded moving trucks, packed what they could recover, and wondered what to do next after the devastating winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Aida made it impossible to live in their homes. For many, there weren’t many good options.
Ida landed on August 29, and Homa, home to about 33,000 inhabitants, was the first major densely populated area on the road. Power is not expected to return to the parish until September 29, and it is only for families and businesses that are structurally sound enough to seize power. Many are not.
In the housing complex, shingles were scattered in the parking lot, and a bunch of pink insulation stuck to the outer wall. Some buildings lost a large part of the siding. In other areas, the roof deck fell off and rain wet the pink insulation, which fell into the apartment below.
Smith was in the bedroom of her apartment when the storm came — K26 — video outside the raging storm when her ceiling collapsed over her. The bedroom is now carpeted with a frame of the building and moist insulation overlooking the blue sky. She spent a hot night beating mosquitoes in another bedroom. Now she is worried that another storm will come and ruin her possessions.
She filed a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They gave her enough money to pay the hotel for a week — “it’s the beginning” — and she will understand her next steps.
“I’m mentally tired and exhausted,” she said.
In apartment M22, Jordan Howard and his boyfriend had just returned home shortly after evacuating to Texas. They were hearing about the damage to the complex.
After conducting the initial investigation, their plan was to come back on a moving truck, pack up and start over. Before the storm, Howard said he was working as a hotel receptionist but is now closed. They are considering what to do next — stay in Houma, where Howard has a family, or start over somewhere else — use electricity somewhere. Given the magnitude of Houma’s damage, he suspected that many would think.
“So many people will have to leave, and I don’t think many of them will come back,” he said.
When Hurricane Aida struck Houma, Jason Cole was in his ground floor apartment — J17 — watching the damage happening outside. After the storm, he, his son, and some other relatives went to the city of Morgan, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) away, and rented a hotel room. But when the hotel gave the workers a room to come to restore electricity, they had to leave. On his way home, his car broke down and was towed by a friend’s repaired apartment complex.
He and his son lived with his Godchild on the other side of the street as they are now, but storm damage may force her to move as well. Cole was also out of work after the hurricane destroyed the shrimp fishery he was a driver of.
He was able to retrieve some clothes from his apartment, and like many in Houma’s apartments, he was trying to figure out what to do. He had heard from other residents that he needed to go out by Tuesday, and he knows how much damage was done to the entire town. If you have a room in a nearby hotel, they don’t pay a weekly fee, so there’s always a concern that you might just move the next day and find a room.
“It’s just rough,” he said. “It’s hard for many people.”
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