Grocery stores are inundated with people. Other stores are simply closed because there are not enough employees to work in them. The roads are dry. The sky is clear. I dropped my husband off at the Baton Rouge Airport this morning. There was no traffic. No flooding. A coast guard helicopter flew over and a large army truck towing a water rescue vehicle drove by. That was the only sign of something odd going on.
It reminded my of Hurricane Katrina. In 2005, when we were driving out of New Orleans, there were caravans of Entergy trucks coming in. It was surreal to see hundreds and hundreds of these trucks driving on Interstate 10.
I met a woman this morning on my way to bring food to loved ones who lost everything. She worked for housekeeping at The Hampton Inn on Constitution Avenue. I asked her if she was OK. She wasn’t. She lost her car and her home. She has two kids and the hotel is letting them all stay there so that’s why she is at work. She is stripping beds for others like her who lost everything. I don’t think there is a vacant hotel room between here and Lafayette.
When I was leaving, I saw two elementary school age children playing cards in the lobby of the hotel. It was noon on a Monday. Nearly every kid in south Louisiana started school last week. But no one is in school today. Some may not have a school to go back to.
Five miles from my house, neighborhoods are flooded. Only rooftops are visible from homes in Central and Livingston Parish as people wait in shelters to get back home and start the recovery process. There are people still missing or waiting to be rescued. I feel guilty that my life is still the same and restless trying to help.