I live 135 miles from New Orleans, so I have not lost my home and all my possessions. I did drive to New Orleans every Monday and spent 8 hours in class with all of my classmates, most who lived in NO. In May it will have been 3 yrs I have known these people and have become very close to them. Working on many projects together and spending hours on the phone with them. We are a very tight knit class, 18 of us. I know for certain that 2 stayed in NO to "ride out the storm." I talked to them 3 times Sunday, pleading with them to come to my house. They assured me they would be OK. I have not heard from them since. I know for certain that 2 are still in NO working at the hospital, 4 evacuated and are safe in other states. No one knows about the other classmates, whether they stayed or evacuated.
I am watching the news and rescues looking for my friends. It is surreal. Our town has opened a refugee center and currently have 2000 people there. It is a unimaginable. I have been crying all day and I guess having a pity party for myself. I suppose I am being selfish worrying about my nursing education. But it is something I have worked very hard for and it is a loss that compounds everything else going on Louisiana, but definitely pales in comparison to what my friends have lost.
The latest coverage says rescuers are pushing dead bodies out of the way to try to find survivors. My friend sent me this email a couple of hours ago from the hospital:
I am working at Ochsner since Sunday, riding out the storm was not fun, but we are all alive and well,
we have over 560 families and depandants caregivers here, and over 400 plus patient, and expecting more and 200 per day in our ED, we are on two generators, lost one, lost both boilers, lots of roof damage , lots of glass broken, no airconditioner, plumbing is iffy. but compared to Charity and Tulane, we are in Fabulous shape, we took all of Charity's vent patients as they have no power and are flooded....the water is rising 2 inches every hour, so more damage to come. we have trucks coming in with supplies and are still trying to get more shipped in, and meds shipped in as we are running low fast...
Will be here working for the duration, until we can get Stage B staff in....nurses etc will be needed....
They are bringin 14 DMAT units into the city to handle triage and tx non hospitalized patients.....it is worst than the Towers Tragedy as far as devastation
we dont expect power for months, and schools have announced 3 month closure....
stay safe everybody
Here is another email I got today:
Hello, everyone. I am in BR at a friends home without power with my family. I am on the LSU campus for the time being with my daughter so have access to the web temporarily. This is terrible and I know I am in better shape than many of you reading this. For now, I have no information on the status of my home in Slidell, but will let everyone know on this list when I hear something. If anyone reading this keeps rental property in lower Mississippi or surrounding New Orleans parishes, I'm guessing we are going to need something soon, family of four. There are going to be several NP families that will need a place to stay I'm guessing, so keep us in mind. Best of luck to everyone, and stay in touch.