State health records, witness accounts, and two lawsuits filed this week paint the picture of a deteriorating evacuation site in Independence, La. where more than 800 nursing home residents weathered Hurricane Ida, many of them on twin-sized blow-up mattresses on the floor.
“There was trash full of urine and feces stacked in a corner. And the place just smelled horrible,” said Nathalie Henderson, a nurse at the warehouse.
She described air thick with the overwhelming smell of urine and feces with piles of waste soiled with it sitting in a corner for days. “They kept rolling in more residents. I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ We had to keep pushing the residents tighter and tighter to fit everyone in,” she continued, “I felt like I was in tears. Like it was very overwhelming.”
Henderson told WWL-TV’s Mike Perlstein the conditions went from bad to worse as the warehouse as one part of the building started taking on water. State inspection reports and two lawsuits filed on behalf of the residents tell a strikingly similar tale.
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