New Orleans — Five days after Hurricane Aida struck New Orleans and left the city in the dark, 86-year-old Editorial was sitting in a hot eight-floor apartment for fear of shortness of breath.
Gentry opened the window to get a breeze, but two important machines that helped him breathe were useless in his apartment due to his lack of power. He thought of going down the street and walking a few blocks to the French Quarter, where power was restored on Wednesday night, but the elevator in the building didn’t work and he could walk eight flights with an oxygen tank and a nebulizer. Did not expect it to deliver asthma medication to his lungs.
“My breath is getting heavier and heavier,” Gentry recalled on Sunday. “I felt like my condition was about to kill me.”
On Saturday, the sixth day of unpowered power, Gentry and his hundred neighbors were rescued by workers at the New Orleans Health Department.
According to city officials, five people were killed in eight buildings, one of which was Christopher Inn, a nine-story concrete building where Mr. Gentry lives. The building and five other buildings considered unsafe are run by Christopher Homes, a Catholic church housing program for low-income seniors.
Dr. Jennifer Avegno, head of the New Orleans Department of Health, said: To properly prepare and protect the residents of these facility operators. “
In a statement, New Orleans Archdiocese spokeswoman Sarah McDonald urged residents to evacuate, but housing programs cannot close buildings without a forced evacuation order issued by neither the state nor the city. Said. McDonald’s did not specifically respond to complaints that the apartment was in poor condition, but said the city took several days to respond to Christopher Holmes’ plea to help 286 residents who did not evacuate. ..
The imbalanced impact of New Orleans on the elderly became a serious focus as the massive power outages in Louisiana continued until Sunday’s seventh day. Deaths in eight apartments where residents live independently followed the deaths of seven people who were moved from a nursing home in New Orleans to a warehouse that appeared to lack basic hygiene.
More than 100,000 electricity customers in New Orleans (about half of the city’s total customers) were still out of electricity on Sunday. Entergy, which powers New Orleans, plans to restore most of the city’s services by Wednesday, helping utility workers pull branches from power lines that have lost power to turn lamps back on. He said he was able to see it.
However, forecasters warned that other parts of New Orleans and Louisiana could feel as hot as 105 degrees Celsius on Sunday. This is the level considered “dangerous” by the National Weather Service. And without air conditioners and fans, many residents would have felt the heat.
Medical vans and buses chartered by the state lined up outside the city’s convention center on Sunday, waiting to take evacuees to a state-owned shelter hours away. The city began helping with evacuation on Friday, and on Saturday the majority of the approximately 600 people who were taken by bus from the city were residents of disqualified housing complexes.
The program to evacuate them began after a desperate plea from residents and their families for the authorities to do something about the deteriorating situation of apartments for the elderly.
“It was very disappointing to see how these private and private and private facilities are developing this kind of situation,” said the city’s agency, Resilient Nora, who evacuated.
Until a few days after the storm knocked out all the power of the city, it was unclear why the city did not coordinate its evacuation trips. Morris admitted that residents’ warnings about the poor condition of some apartments “pushed gas” on the city to start the program, but the city decided to drive people out by bus. Of the town that mentioned earlier that it is important to know the timeline of power restoration.
“Evacuation can be very burdensome and, from a physiological point of view, especially in more vulnerable communities,” he said.
When the evacuation bus started running, various residents found it convenient.
Johnnica Palmore was waiting to catch a bus to an electric shelter in the hall of the convention center with two children, 11 and 2 years old, on Sunday morning. She spent the first few days after the storm in a nursing home, where she worked as a nursing assistant. However, when I finally returned to my family’s house after the facility’s generator stopped working, I noticed that the roof of my daughter’s room had collapsed.
“I hope it’s safe where we go,” said 36-year-old Palmore, who was worried about getting on a bus to a distant shelter.
A city spokesman said the state did not tell the city which shelter would be taken to until the residents started boarding the bus, meaning that those fleeing had to decide to leave without knowing their destination. rice field.
Another hall of the convention center has been converted into a 250-bed medical shelter for those facing weak health challenges, such as those in need of oxygen and insulin. By Sunday morning, there were 17 patients in the shelter, and officials said an additional 11 were on the way. Some came from home, while others were transferred from a hospital that was already overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients.
Rescued from his apartment on the 8th floor on Sunday, Gentry said he felt much better while waiting for lunch at Shreveport on the bus. “I knew I had to get out of there,” he said of the days he spent stuck in his unit.
Reports of death and poor condition in Catholic-run buildings have surprised many in New Orleans, where Catholicism is the dominant religion and is embedded in urban culture. This is a holiday framework such as Mardi Gras and St. Joseph’s Day, a holiday widely celebrated in March.
Generations of low-income seniors have been cared for in Catholic church homes, and the number of their apartments has grown to about 1,100 throughout the city after Hurricane Katrina expelled many residents in 2005. I did.