BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Precious Parker sat in the front seat of her blue sedan while her three children were inside the hotel room they, for the moment, call home.
“This is where I come because I don’t want them to see the weaker side,” Parker said.
Parker, her three children, plus a dog and cat are making the best of hotel life after ping-ponging between towns and hotels. They’ve been on the move since evacuating LaPlace, La. before Hurricane Ida hit.
“Honestly I thought it was going to be a three-day thing,” she said. “Once that storm blows over we will be able to go back to our home and go back to normal.”
That didn’t happen.
“I don’t want them to see the worry,” Parker said. “I don’t want them to see the stress.”
When Parker returned to LaPlace, nothing could prepare her for what she saw.
“So my son went first and as soon as he opened the door he just turned around and he looked at me and he said Mom, you got to throw everything away,” Parker said, tears streaming down her face. “It is not even safe to walk in here.”
Her sewing equipment that she used to make gowns and tuxedos was gone. Clothes and furniture, family photos, and heirlooms were wet and muddy.
“I was just sitting there with a bottled water trying to scrub it, trying to scrub it clean, trying to save what I can save and it was useless.”
For now, a hotel room in Malbis is home.
“It has been hard. It’s scary. It’s scary because as a single mother or parent period who wants to feel like they don’t have anywhere to go with their kids.”
Parker is desperately trying to find a place to rent for herself and her family while shielding them from the desperation of their situation.
“I want them to feel like we are on vacation when really, we’re homeless. I don’t know where the heck we’re going,” Parker said.
Hurricane Ida hit and was gone in a matter of hours. But for Precious Parker, the storm continues with no end in sight.