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Hurricane Ida evacuees take shelter in Texarkana

“We are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best”
Flooding (left) across from Walmart distribution center in Robert, Louisiana, and storm damage...
Flooding (left) across from Walmart distribution center in Robert, Louisiana, and storm damage nearby in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, as seen Aug. 30, 2021, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.(Sources: WVUE viewers Connie Kemp (left) and Erika Seeling)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 4:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:19 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) — The wait continues to see what Hurricane Ida left behind as it blew through south Louisiana on Aug. 29. Many residents directly affected by the storm have chosen the ArkLaTex as their waiting place.

“Considering what’s going on, that’s the least we can do,” said Carolyn Hodges, who works at the front desk of Wyndham Garden Texarkana.

Monday was a busy day for Hodges. Like other hotels in the area, Wyndham Garden is overflowing with people who fled from south Louisiana.

“We are sold completely out. We have approximately 130 rooms and we are sold out,” Hodges said.

Guests began arriving Friday and continued to show up throughout the day Monday, she said.

“Because we saw it was going to be a major storm,” explained Houma resident Reynard Martin, who evacuated to Texarkana with his family of 14.

They were among those who arrived at the hotel early. Martin said he has been through storms in the past and knew evacuating early was important.

“Closed the shutters on my house. It’s OK if it’s there when we get back; if not, thank God we are still alive,” he said.

“We got word that our area was kind of severely damaged. It took a pretty difficult hit,” said Miya Nelson, an evacuee who traveled from the Tangipahoa Parish city of Ponchatoula.

Nelson and others are thankful for their personal safety but worry about what they will find when they get home.

“And we are just waiting to see when the roads are going to clear out and be able to get some reports on how much damage we sustained,” Nelson said.

“From what we can hear, a lot of the homes around us have no roof or (are) just completely gone,” said Farah Peatree, another Hurricane Ida evacuee. “We are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.”

Hotel officials say many of the evacuees are booked for an extended stay as they wait on the all clear to return home.

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