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Ida evacuees struggling to find fuel en route to safety

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Posted at 10:46 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 12:52:08-04

HENDERSON, La. — Another issue post-Hurricane Ida: fueling up to get to safety.

Gas stations in Acadiana are dealing with shortages, many for days now. KATC spoke with some people who say they’re headed to a safer spot, but are frustrated with the shortages.

They say they’re getting out of the areas that still have no power and joining loved ones in Texas for awhile. One resident, Warren Melinie, is on his way to Spring, Texas from Metairie.

“There’s nothing open all the way through Baton Rouge, we were lucky to find this,” he said. “We just jumped off the exit and here we are. We’re in line, I’m next, that’s good. My buddy is getting his gas over there, and we’ll be on our way.”

He still had half a tank when he found gas again and was not going to take any chances. He’s happy he’s on his way to a safer spot.

“No one has electricity in New Orleans, Metairie, and outlying areas. Lot of trees down,” he said.

Similar conditions as Ashley Ruyea and Taylor White shared with us. They’re from French Settlement and are also heading to Texas.

“Trees down everywhere, roofs off of houses, off gas stations,” they said. “Completely horrible. Power lines down on the road. Just too much for even our local law enforcement to deal with.”

The friends are glad to have found fuel to keep going.

“We were hoping that the further we got away from French Settlement it would be easier to find gas, but it’s been worse,” they said.

Meanwhile, Melinie says what he's going through right now is nothing new. He also faced Hurricane Katrina.

“On the same day, August 29, 2005,” he remembers. “A little déjà vu here.”

And he says, although times are tough, his cup is half full.

“I’m a positive person,” he said. “The good lord will, he’ll make things positively happen for everyone hopefully. I just feel bad for the people that are losing everything.”

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