‘Just keep praying, pray for Louisiana’: Ida evacuees uncertain about future hours after hurricane’s devastation

Angelia Layrisson and her husband, who evacuated from Marrero, sit in a Natchitoches hotel's...
Angelia Layrisson and her husband, who evacuated from Marrero, sit in a Natchitoches hotel's café, as news about Hurricane Ida continues to develop on a TV next to them.(Cody Jennings)
Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 1:41 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:13 PM CDT
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) - Hours after the sun rose on Monday morning, highlighting the unbelievable damage in south Louisiana from catastrophic Hurricane Ida — evacuees seeking shelter are leaning on their faith.

“Just keep praying, pray for Louisiana,” said Angelia Layrisson, who evacuated from Marrero with her husband. “My hope is in the Lord, I put all my faith in that.”

Like many weary evacuees, the Layrisson’s woke up to the violent images flashing across TV screens - wondering if they will have a home to return to.

“I am not even sure there is a word that can describe the feeling because it’s really not in the vocabulary,” Layrisson said. “It’s a pretty heartbreaking event to have to stomach what is going to be shown on the news for the next three to four weeks.”

Fortunately, the Layrisson’s home was spared by Ida with no major damage, albeit some roof damage.

“People in Louisiana have been knocked down a lot and recovered,” she said. “People who did recover before, may not recover this time.”

For Kevin Klibert, who evacuated from LaPlace, spoke alongside his daughter, Nicole Waguespack, who left Gonzales. Kevin, who lost his home during Hurricane Isaac in 2012, said he is fully prepared to return to little this time around.

“I need to try to prepare myself for something worse than what I had for Isaac,” Hebert explained. “You feel like the homeless feel — with nothing.”

Waguespack said she was experiencing a wide range of emotions - knowing she and her loved ones are safe, but uncertain about how those back home who rode out the storm.

“You’re hearing that people have to be rescued, but still have no way of knowing what’s going on,” she said. “Not being able to get in touch with family and friends is just killing us.”

The road to recovery for Louisiana is going to be long and arduous — with over 860 thousand Louisianans still in the dark. But, the best of humanity is emerging in the worst of disasters.

“We are one big family.”

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