Hurricane Ida evacuees take shelter in Omaha

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 1:55 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Bryanna Tate and her four kids left New Orleans a day before Hurricane Ida made landfall. It was a difficult decision but one she knew she had to make because she’s lived it before, 16 years ago with Hurricane Katrina.

“I got here late, what’s today?” Tate questioned. “Late Saturday, Sunday like wee hours,” she said.

Her days are running together, it’s been a long week for Bryanna and her family.

“Ja’Kyrien Tate, he’s 13. Kennedy Garrison, she’s 6. Jasiah Garrison, he’s 8, and Brayden Kelly, he’s 18 months,” Bryanna said.

The days before Hurricane Ida came, Bryanna watched as the storm grew. Questioning to stay or go.

“It was like the size of Katrina,” Tate said.

She was 12 when Katrina devastated New Orleans, 16 years later those memories still haunt her.

“It was like a lake, the water was coming in the house. We got frogs hopping in the door, and like the water was dirty,” Tate remembered. “It was like, you know when you see gasoline mixed in with stuff. It was dirty, smelly and it was just a lot of people in distress.”

What she lived through then motivated her choice now to leave.

“If it was just me, maybe. But my kids, I don’t want to put them through what I went through. That was horrible,” she said.

For the six days following the storm, Bryanna and her kids stayed at a hotel in Alabama. Her savings started to dwindle and she knew she couldn’t stay there much longer.

Today, she and her children are living in her aunt’s rental property here in Omaha. It gives Bryanna time to decompress after a week that felt like it was sucking the life out of her.

“I could write a book on my life, so just another chapter I guess to add to the book. One day, hopefully,” Tate said.

The chapter after that, it’s a mystery. As the 28-year-old looks at the bags she packed her family’s life into, she’s not sure there’s anything for her to go back to.

“Thinking about wherever we are should we just start over where we at? Cause this is like another Katrina, we had to rebuild from that and we’re still rebuilding,” she said. “Now they got another storm out there that could possibly come back, you know like, what do you do?”

Bryanna was not able to save the majority of her belongings from the category 4 hurricane, there’s a GoFundMe set up to get her family basic supplies.

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