MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — South Alabama Red Cross, in partnership with the City of Mobile, opened two shelters in the city for Hurricane Ida evacuees, at Springhill Community Center and James Seals Community Center.
“It was really overwhelming and it’s just a lot,” said Alice Conrad of her week escaping the powerful storm. she was one of 50 evacuees at the Springhill shelter evacuee, describing her week escaping the powerful storm.
Conrad and her four children packed up Saturday, she told WKRG News 5, leaving Louisiana ahead of Hurricane Ida, not knowing the whirlwind ahead of them.
“The city said you had to evacuate and then I have kids and they come before everything,” Conrad said. “Property can be replaced, but our lives can’t.”
Mobile wasn’t the first place Conrad tried to evacuate with her children.
“We tried to go to Texas, but it was packed,” she said. “We stayed in Layfette in the state for about five hours, so I was like I can’t do this with my kids.”
Once the storm passed on Monday, Conrad tried to get back to Louisiana but said it wasn’t safe.
“Everything was flooded and the roads were blocked,” she said. If their roads weren’t blocked, they were packed with other people.
The Red Cross Shelter was the family’s last resort, but Conrad said she is thankful to have a place to call their temporary home.
“We have great helpers, they counsel you, whatever you need, they try to provide,” she said.
The Red Cross is busy providing more than just warm meals and beds. They’re also working with Louisianans like Conrad and her children to get home safely.
“We will be here as long as it takes to take care of these folks,” said Mike Brown, executive director. He said volunteer caseworkers are working with each family to make sure they have what they need, including a plan to get home and get back to the next steps of their lives.
Brown said the best way to help is to donate or volunteer. You can find out how on their website.