Weather Condition

” There’s a basic feeling of fear in not knowing what’s going to be the aftermath of this.”

A male takes pictures of high waves along the coast of Lake Pontchartrain as Hurricane Ida nears, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in New Orleans. The Associated Press

By LEAH WILLINGHAM, Associated Press

Robert Owens felt defeated and powerless Sunday as he waited in Louisiana’s capital city for landfall by one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to strike the U.S.

The 27- year-old had actually spent days anxiously viewing long lines of automobiles leaving from Baton Rouge, bound for more secure places out of state as Hurricane Ida approached. He had actually hoped he and his spouse, his mother-in-law, roommate and four family pets would be amongst them. Leaving would have required cash for gas and a hotel space– something they didn’t have.

Out of desperation, Owens went to ACE Money Express on Saturday and submitted documents for a payday loan. He was denied, told he didn’t have sufficient credit history.

By Sunday, it was clear they would be riding out the storm in your home in his household’s duplex apartment or condo.

” Our savings account is empty– we can’t manage to leave,” he said.

Owens said the majority of people in his low-income community remain in the exact same dilemma. They wish to leave to secure households, but have no option however to remain.

” A great deal of us here in my area have to just hunker down and wait, not understanding how bad it’s going to get. It’s a terrifying sensation,” he said.

” There people who have funds to lean on are able to leave here, however there’s a huge chunk of individuals that are lower-income that do not have a savings account to fall on,” he continued. “We’re left.”

By Sunday night at 9 p.m., Owens stated his household and all others in his community had lost power. The sky was lighting up green from transformers exploding all around them, he stated.

A number of trees had actually collapsed on next-door neighbor’s properties, however it was too dark to see the full extent of the damage. Owens said they were attempting to use a flashlight to survey the street, but were wary of endangering their security.

” Never in my life have I experienced something this major,” he stated as giant gusts rattled his house’s windows.

More than 1 million consumers in Louisiana lost power over night Sunday into Monday, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages nationwide.

Owens stated there were a few times when it seemed like the roofing of his duplex may come off. He said his other half was packing a bag of clothes and essentials, simply in case.

” We’ll shelter in the car if we lose your home,” he said. The family all share his partner’s Toyota Avalon, a vehicle “not nearly huge enough” to shelter four people, 3 pets and a cat.

Previously in the day, Owens stated he was hurriedly placing towels under dripping windows in his duplex and charging electronics.

” There’s a general sensation of worry in not knowing what’s going to be the aftermath of this,” he said. “That’s the most concerning thing. Like, what are we going to do if it gets truly bad? Will we still live? Is a tree going fall on top of us?”

Owens said his mother-in-law is on impairment.

” We may be without work, and rent, power, water, all of those expenses will still be needing to make money,” he said. “We are a bit worried about losing our energies and even our home– if it’s still standing– since we’re not going to have the money for any other expenses.”

He said it’s difficult to feel so susceptible, like his family is getting left behind.

” The truth that we are not middle class or above, it simply sort of keeps coming back to bite us over and over again, in a lot of various instructions and ways– an easy pay-day advance being among them,” he said. “It’s like we’re having to pay for being poor, even though we’re trying to not be poor.”

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