LAPLACE, La. -- In LaPlace, the sounds, the images and the smells transport you back to the cleanup of Katrina seven years ago.
This is the hard part. Last week was the terrifying part.
“It was pouring down rain and they were loading buses to take us – there were charter buses – to take us to Alexandria and Shreveport,” said Carolyn Timberlake, a LaPlace resident. “There were given no preference. They had ladies there with newborns, infants and they were just standing in the rain with those babies.”
Timberlake’s next-door neighborhood has no clue where she’ll go with her three young children and boyfriend, no clue where to put her children in school and no clue where she’ll find a job as a dialysis technician.
“The water started coming up so fast, my children was so devastate,” said LaPlace resident Gloria Cash. “I was devastated. I was like, I just can’t go through this again.”
What binds these next-door neighbors together is a common tragic experience. They both lost everything in Katrina. In fact, that’s why they moved to LaPlace, to get away from the threat of hurricanes and losing everything all over again – and of course, that’s exactly what happened.
And the neighbor in the red brick house also lost everything in Hurricane Betsy.
“I have to stay here, because I can’t afford – I did have my husband for the other two floods, but he passed away in ’09,” Timberlake said.
Cash said, “So I have to start all over again with three kids, and pick up all the pieces.”
Timberlake said she finds her strength “in the good lord.”