PONCHATOULA, La. — It’s day 10 of cleanup in Louisiana, but for a woman in Ponchatoula, the work on her home has yet to begin.
Huge trees still cover her house and yard and the 62-year-old is desperate to find anyone who can lend a hand.
“First it started with trees snapping,” said Sarah Hall. “Trees hitting the house, over and over again.”
While Hurricane Ida barreled through Ponchatoula, Hall hunkered down inside her house, comforted by her dog Kitty. His bark is worse than his bite, but his name shows Hall’s wry sense of humor, a sense she needs to get through this disaster.
“Then big trees started coming down,” Hall recalled. “And it’s like, 'Lord, please let this house stay on these stilts.' And it did! It shook it a couple of times, but it did.”
The house still stands, but Hall’s property now looks like a fallen forest. A tree crashed onto the roof, creating a hole for rain. Hall used anything she could to catch the water.
“Buckets and cans and pots and pans,” Hall said. “And coffee containers, anything that would hold water. Towels on the floor, a lot of laundry to be done.”
Trees cover her backyard. A big one fell on top of a shed, another crashed into the carport.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, and I don’t know how I am going to get it done,” Hall said.
Hall said her son and a friend are doing what they can, but it’s not a two-person job.
“You need some chainsaws; you need some beasts to take care of this mess,” Hall said.
Everyone along Highway 445 has a mess to tackle.
“They are cleaning their own properties up, right up the road on Barbell Lane a tree came through a lady’s trailer.
Hall has no clue how she’ll clear the property, but she’s thankful to have Kitty and a place to call home.
“I feel blessed to still be standing here,” Hall said.
Hall said she did put a request into the Blue Roof Program to fix that hole in her guest room, but is still waiting to hear back. She’s asking anyone in the community that has some time -- and the right tools -- to help if they can.