LAPLACE, La. (WGNO) — LaPlace was arguably one of the hardest-hit areas by Hurricane Ida. The floodwaters have receded in the area, but places near I-10 and several other neighborhoods continue to be a problem.
Mrs. Walters says riding out Ida was one of the most terrifying moments of her life. “It was the scariest night of my life. And I remember Betsy, and this was worse than Betsy,” Walters said. Both her and her husband, Gary, rode out the storm in their living room. They stayed inside their home during most of the storm.
But in order to get cell service, they had to go to Gary’s truck. “And it was rocking while we were sitting there because that was the only way we could get any cell texts, connection at the time,” Gary Walters said.
Many in the St. John Baptiste parish have been without power or clean water for days.
“It’s been rough man. It’s been rough,” Will Ferton of LaPlace said. Residents say they recently got water access, but some haven’t gotten their power back. Thursday morning, residents were lining up at gas pumps bright and early to fill their vehicles, even gas cans. “Well, we can’t get gas. So, there is no stores open near here. So, it’s kind of a catch 22,” Walters said.
The Walters say the people of LaPlace are desperate for help. They say organizations like FEMA haven’t been around their neighborhood or any others they know of. “We need the insurance adjusters down here. We need FEMA help. We can’t get anything,” Walters said. “People don’t know anything about LaPlace. But you need to start looking out here for the people out here,” Gary Walters said.
The Walters say that some people lost more than they did. “You just kind of ride and look around and see the devastation. There is people you’d not be able to see because they can’t even get in. And they need help badly,” Walter said.
Even though it could take weeks, even months, to recover — many in the community are coming together. “We’re sharing food. We’re sharing water. We’re sharing… hugs and prayers. Everybody pull together. And hope for the best,” Ferton said. Because that’s what being Louisiana Strong is all about. “And that’s the only way to get through this is with your neighbors,” Walters said.
If you are in need of assistance, contact FEMA at FEMA.gov for more.