For nearly 24 hours, a Toronto lady dwelling in New Orleans hunkered down as home windows violently rattled, gadgets fell off cabinets and timber and electrical energy poles toppled outdoors her shaking dwelling, whereas Hurricane Ida tore via Louisiana on Sunday and into Monday.
Tanya Gulliver-Garcia thought-about evacuating earlier than the worst of the storm hit her space, however persistent ache points prevented her from driving lengthy hours to get away.
She determined to trip out the hurricane in her dwelling along with her rescue canine Bear, whereas her landlord — having been via Katrina 16 years in the past — evacuated.
Gulliver-Garcia, who works with the Centre for Catastrophe Philanthropy, advised CityNews it was a terrifying day and a sleepless evening.
“It was extremely scary. I’ve been via hurricanes earlier than — I responded to Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Isaac — however I’ve all the time achieved it in a fairly safe, protected location, not in my very own home,” she stated from her automotive, parked on a avenue within the metropolis the place she was in a position to get cellphone sign, amid downed electrical energy poles and wires.
Downed electrical energy poles and wires are seen on a avenue in New Orleans after Hurricane Ida tore via Louisiana. Credit score: Tanya Gulliver-Garcia
Having misplaced energy mid-way via the day, she tried taking sleeping capsules and resorted to soaking a sheet in water to assist calm down and get some relaxation, however the relentless warmth made that close to inconceivable.
“A few of it occurred throughout the day, so I had a great probability to get used to it and what it seemed like whereas it was daytime. However at evening, I wakened most likely each two hours,” she stated.
Bear, in flip, spent the evening pacing from one door to a different.
“She’s a rescue and he or she’s pretty traumatized right this moment,” stated Gulliver-Garcia.
Tanya Gulliver-Garcia’s rescue canine bear spent an anxious evening whereas the hurricane raged outdoors. Credit score: Tanya Gulliver-Garcia
Since Louisiana properties don’t have basements as a result of danger of flooding, they didn’t have a protected area to shelter in place.
“I’ve one little hallway that doesn’t have any home windows and I used to be keeping track of the prevailing home windows, and if any of them regarded like they had been going to go, or if it regarded like a twister or I heard a twister warning, then I used to be going to enter that hallway.”
One in all her massive worries was a big tree outdoors her dwelling that was swaying dangerously and finally cracked, however thankfully fell onto the roadway as a substitute of via her bed room. Her dwelling didn’t undergo a lot injury aside from a number of misplaced roof shingles and a damaged porch mild. Tiles from a neighbouring rooftop fell and shattered the windshield of her automotive, which she stated within the bigger scheme of issues was “actually nothing.”
A big tree outdoors Tanya Gulliver-Garcia’s dwelling thankfully fell out onto the road as a substitute of onto her dwelling. Credit score: Tanya Gulliver-Garcia
She says she’s bodily alright, though a bit shaken, including that the warmth is oppressive, particularly with none cooling out there throughout town. She thinks it will likely be a number of weeks, if no more, earlier than energy is restored to New Orleans.
“They stated thus far that they received’t even be capable of inform us for 3 or 4 days how lengthy it can take to get the facility on. However as a result of we misplaced transmission towers, not simply poles and contours, however precise generator towers, I’m estimating at the very least a month primarily based on earlier hurricanes. It could possibly be longer.”
She added that sources in Louisiana are stretched skinny as a result of the state has had the very best variety of COVID-19 instances per capita in the whole world for a number of weeks, and since they’re a tourism-driven economic system, they’ve taken an enormous hit. Regardless of coping with a pure catastrophe whereas in a world pandemic, she says the temper stays hopeful.
“I believe I’m feeling good. One of many issues that all the time helped me, and it’s a part of why I fell in love with New Orleans within the first place, is the resiliency of the individuals right here,” she stated. “The neighbors had been all going outdoors and speaking and serving to one another clear up all of the injury.”
Gulliver-Garcia will spend the subsequent few days packing up the home and making a call about whether or not to remain near New Orleans or return to Canada for some time.
Having made it via the worst of the hurricane, she says she’s preserving a constructive angle.
“I do know that I’m actually fortunate. I’ve a number of privilege having a home and having a job and even having the chums and help community I’ve,” she stated.
Tanya and her canine Bear, after driving out hurricane Ida in New Orelans. Credit score: Tanya Gulliver-Garcia.
For individuals who wish to assist, she stated money donations are one of the best ways to ship help as a result of there aren’t any sources on the bottom to gather, kind and distribute any donated gadgets.
Nonetheless, she additionally wished to remind Canadians that charity begins at dwelling.
“In case you can dig deep, do. But additionally acknowledge that these disasters occur at dwelling and there’s a number of people in Canada who want help as nicely,” she stated. “So possibly you may’t contribute to [the New Orleans] catastrophe, however you may take into consideration what you are able to do in Canada that to assist out and to make life higher as a result of it actually takes all of us.”