x
Breaking News
More () »

'It wasn't livable there:' Hurricane Ida evacuees shelter in Arkansas

"We feel lucky that we have the means and we can leave if we have to, but I feel so bad for the people who can't," New Orleans native Stacey Kelly said.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It's been a little over a week since Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana. 

The cleanup process is ongoing with several people still displaced from their homes. 

Some of those people, like Stacey Kelly and Christian Giardina, evacuated here to Little Rock. 

A couple trying to make the most out of an unfortunately familiar situation. 

Scrolling through the images of destruction, Kelly looked at pictures of her home that survived Hurricane Ida. 

"Minor roof damage, just some shingles I found on the ground, I haven't seen the extent, but no leaks. A lot of downed trees," she said.

Kelly described her and her husband, Giardina, as 'one of the lucky ones.' 

"That tree is going to have to come down completely, which is a shame, but it's going to have to," she said.

They packed up their car and their dogs and left three days before the storm hit, according to Kelly.

"It's just kind of the routine of the hurricane season. Nobody likes it, but the love of our city outweighs the disdain of packing up and leaving," she said.

Even though it's almost second nature, Kelly said it never gets any easier.

"You just never know what's going to really happen. Is it going to be another situation where we turn around and go straight home, or is it going to be like Katrina where I didn't go home for four months," she said.

After some time in Florida and Alabama, Kelly said they made the anxious journey home to see what Hurricane Ida did to the city that raised them. 

"Going back into the city, I had mixed feelings. You never know what you’re going to go home to," she said.

Between the downed trees, no air conditioning, and long lines for gas, Kelly said their home and their city "wasn't livable," which is why they came to Arkansas on Sunday, Sept. 5. 

"We feel lucky that we have the means and we can leave if we have to, but I feel so bad for the people who can't. I mean there are so many people that are trapped there," she said.

They're making the most of their time at their Air Bnb in Little Rock, trying new food and meeting new people. 

Kelly said they always have a pit in their stomach because of what they'll see when they go back home, but they know in their hearts their city will bounce back. 

"You come back, you rebuild, and it puts everybody on the same playing field. Where it doesn't matter what walk of life, some people have it a lot harder than others, but everyone comes together and rebuilds this city," she said.

Kelly and Giardina will head back to New Orleans on Saturday, Sept. 11.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out