Louisiana nursing home residents describe misery in warehouse

Seven hours later, she heard from Mr. Burnett himself. “He was fine,” she said. “But he said his left foot was swollen, it had sores underneath and it hurt. It comes from the warehouse.

State officials, alerted to deteriorating conditions in the warehouse, relocated all residents within 24 hours from Wednesday, and Friday morning, empty wheelchairs, oxygen tanks and masks dirt piled up outside the warehouse were the only signs remaining. that they had been there.

Longtime residents said the warehouse was once used as a storage facility and was then used to make aerosol cans before largely sinking, although they said it was still sometimes used to store emergency supplies.

Many Independence neighbors wondered why residents of the nursing home were brought to what turned out to be one of the hardest-hit areas in the state.

In the neighborhoods around the warehouse, Ida’s winds had blown away the siding of mobile homes, pushed tall trees through rooftops and knocked over branches on power lines, sending flared electrical wires through the streets. A sign welcoming Independence visitors was surrounded by broken trees near the base of their trunks.

One block from the warehouse, Lillian Danna, 92, who lives alone, weathered the storm in the house she has lived in since the 1950s. On Friday, as she cleared the debris from her driveway, she described discovering that the storm had ravaged his neighborhood. She woke up early Monday, grabbing a flashlight to look outside, but it was too hard to see clearly.

When the day came, she discovered that a large tree had crushed a shed in the backyard, leaving her thanking God that he hadn’t hit her house. It was hours before the wind calmed down, finally allowing him to open his door.

“If he had fallen on my house he probably would have killed me,” she said.

A few nights later, she was baffled by the dozens of vehicles – shuttles, motorhomes and buses – filling the neighborhood, keeping neighbors awake through the night as residents of the nursing home were brought to safety.

Susan C. Beachy, Jack Begg and Alain Delaquériere contributed research.

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