NEW ORLEANS, La. (WJBF) –
NewsChannel 6 Weekend Anchor Renetta DuBose traveled to New Orleans with her sisters in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and just one day into their time there, they learned due to Barry the 54th National Convention would need to close early. Her flight was canceled too for Saturday night.
Many of them braved the long airport lines and made it home. Some even drove. But for a lot of Deltas, including some in the Augusta/Aiken area in fact, are riding it out.
“We came with only what we had on our back,” Robert Burton told DuBose outside of a downtown New Orleans hotel. “All that there is replaceable. Life is not.”
Blowing rain. High winds. And constant New Orleans area news coverage. Hurricane Barry made landfall Saturday in Louisiana impacting southern areas overtopping levees, shutting off power and pushing people to higher, safer ground.
Burton said he left home with family.
“I got a room because around my house it floods, it floods real fast.”
Burton evacuated from his New Orleans home Friday and he was not alone. People in southern Louisiana flocked to downtown hotels. That’s where Mayor LaToya Cantrell told members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority they would be safe because back up power sources exist.
The organization canceled its National Convention. More than 16,000 registered, including many Deltas from the CSRA. Some waited at the airport before all flights were canceled, bus and trains too.
And others braved the storm heading to local grocery stores to hunker down.
Local people, though, said they are more concerned about flooding, which just happened earlier in the week.
“That’s the main reason why I got this hotel,” Burton said. “The water didn’t go down. It stayed there for four or five hours and this is supposed to be a massive storm with a lot of water.”
While downtown New Orleans remains mostly overcast with little rain, goin out is not recommended. The slowly moving storm closed some businesses making meal time a challenge.
But thousands will eat after National President and CEO of Delta Sigma Theta, Beverly E. Smith announced purchased food for the canceled convention was donated.
But for those waiting it out, they won’t starve.
“We got some snacks, jujus and wine wine and we in the room,” Burton said.
For those of still in New Orleans with DuBose, the hotel is the best place because rooms are high up and hotels have back up power and even food insides.
Again, the storm is moving slowly so all just waiting and praying for the best.