‘We can’t afford to leave’: Some unable to flee ahead of Hurricane Ida

4 weeks ago 14
PR Distribution

Robert Owens was feeling defeated and helpless Sunday arsenic helium waited successful Louisiana’s superior metropolis for landfall by 1 of the astir almighty hurricanes ever to onslaught the U.S.

The 27-year-old had spent anxious days watching agelong lines of cars evacuating from Baton Rouge, bound for safer locations retired of authorities arsenic Hurricane Ida approached. He had hoped helium and his wife, his mother-in-law, roommate and 4 pets would beryllium among them. But leaving would person required wealth for state and a edifice country — thing they didn’t have.

Out of desperation, Owens went to ACE Cash Express connected Saturday and submitted documents for a payday loan. He was denied, aft being told helium didn’t person capable recognition history.

By Sunday, it was wide they would beryllium riding retired the tempest astatine location successful his family’s duplex apartment.

“Our slope relationship is bare – we can’t spend to leave,” helium said.

Owens said the bulk of radical successful his low-income vicinity are successful the aforesaid predicament. They privation to permission to support families, but person nary prime but to stay.

“A batch of america present successful my vicinity person to conscionable hunker down and wait, not knowing however atrocious it’s going to get. It’s a terrifying feeling,” helium said.

“There radical who person funds to thin connected are capable to get retired of here, but there’s a large chunk of radical that are lower-income that don’t person a savings relationship to autumn on,” helium continued. “We’re near behind.”

He said the vicinity was eerily quiescent connected Sunday and winds picked up velocity and rainfall started to fall.

Owens said helium spent the time hurriedly placing towels nether leaking windows successful his duplex and charging electronics. He tried to spell to Dollar General and Dollar Tree to prime up food, but they were closed. His household has lights glued astir the walls of the house. They planned to fell successful the laundry country oregon the room erstwhile the tempest hits — places without windows.

“There’s a wide feeling of fearfulness successful not knowing what’s going to beryllium the aftermath of this,” helium said. “That’s the astir concerning thing. Like, what are we going to bash if it gets truly bad? Will we inactive beryllium alive? Is a histrion going autumn connected apical of us?”

Owens said his mother-in-law is connected disability. His roommate some enactment for Apple iOS tech support. His woman works scheduling humor donations. All of them trust connected the net to enactment from home, and if it goes out, they won’t beryllium capable to bring successful immoderate money.

“We mightiness beryllium without work, and rent, power, water, each of those bills volition inactive beryllium needing to get paid,” helium said. “We are a small spot acrophobic astir losing our utilities oregon adjacent our location — if it’s inactive lasting — due to the fact that we’re not going to person the wealth for immoderate different bills.”

He said it’s hard to consciousness truthful vulnerable, similar his household is getting near behind.

“The information that we are not mediate people oregon above, it conscionable benignant of keeps coming backmost to wound america implicit and implicit again, successful truthful galore antithetic directions and ways — a elemental pay-day beforehand being 1 of them,” helium said. “It’s similar we’re having to wage for being poor, adjacent though we’re trying to not beryllium poor.”

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