HOUMA, La. — It’s deceptively beautiful at the end of another hot Louisiana day. Perhaps it’s a sort of apology from Mother Nature following Hurricane Ida. However, it's come too late, as gas is in short supply and desperation is starting to set in.
“We need help,” said resident Brandy Jones.
You could see the desperation on Jones’ face and hear it in her voice.
“We got hit the hardest, so you’d think they would have something for us, but they don’t have anything,” she explained.
Sitting outside a makeshift shelter in Houma, Louisiana, this mother, her 4-year-old child and their family have no place to go. Their home was left uninhabitable by Ida.
It could be weeks before this city of 30,000 people has power again.
Even the shelter here has no running water or air conditioning. It’s as hot outside as it is inside.
“I feel really pissed off, angry, you think this is our Parish. This is bad,” Jones said. “We asked, and nobody knows what’s the plan. They said they wasn’t prepared for this. How?”
Things are not much better for Brinson Sangste, who is living inside his car with his cat. He’s parked his car in the parking lot of the shelter here.
Sangste filled an extra tank of gas and packed some coolers with cooking supplies
“In that suitcase, I’ve got eight pairs of blue jeans and about 25 shirts,” he shared.
This is all he has now.
“Ah, it humbles yourself. You learn what you need what you don’t need,” he said.
Sangste lives in Dulac, Louisiana, a small, unreachable town 30 miles south of the shelter he’s now at. His town took a direct hit.
“There’s nothing, nothing. I almost didn’t come back,” he said.
For those without the means to leave, this is it. They battled a Category 4 hurricane, only to now be baking in nearly 100-degree weather with no air conditioning.
Those who are lucky enough to have generators, like Mary Guidry, are doing what they can to occupy the time.
“We’ve been picking up stuff all over, but some stuff you can’t pick up,” she said.
It may not seem like much, amidst the devastation, but people here have to start somewhere.
Even utility crews are beginning the painstakingly complex process of somehow getting the power grid across Southeast Louisiana back online.
People across the Gulf Coast are trying not to lose sight of what’s important, even though Ida has taken so much away.