Five days after devastating tornado ripped through New Orleans East, victims are still picking through the remains of their lives. The tornado touched down Tuesday, Feb. 7 destroying mostly predominately black neighborhoods. People like Jamie Sherman lost everything in last week’s unexpected storm.
Sherman a 36-year-old student teacher was at Resurrection of Our Lord Elementary School when the storm hit.
“We was at school and the lights went out, the babies just started screaming and crying Sherman said.They were scared; I teach four-year-olds. By me just starting to teach, I have never been in that situation before so I didn’t know exactly what to do.We had to get them in a position so that they were safe. They was on the floor, knees up and head between the knees.”
As the storm rattled the elementary school, the principle notified the faculty and staff members to contact any family members that may not be safe.
“I get my phone and I see that my fiancé had called me 20 times. I called him and he was shook up, I could barely hear him,” said Sherman. “When I could finally understand what he was saying, he said ‘It’s gone! It’s gone! Our house is gone, it’s destroyed.’ My knees buckled and the cooperating teacher consoled me.”
Sherman’s faced this reality: Windows busted, roofs torn apart, trees in her neighborhood snapped like tooth picks. Clean up crews and volunteers have worked to help rebuild communities affected by the storm such as Read Boulevard.
“It was worse than this but a lot of people have come by and helped us,” said Sherman who is trying to clean up her single-story home. “Strangers would come and help us clean up.”
The tornado that touched down in new orleans east made national headlines and effects residents physically and mentally.national acclaimed New Orleans tornado has not only affected residents with its physical damages, but also mentally. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs,at least 25 percent of the survivors had diagnosable symptoms.
“Some areas haven’t recovered 100 percent from Hurricane Katrina, which resulted in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for some people,” said Jayna Motley, psychology major at Xavier University of Louisiana. “With these pre-existing mental disorders, those who were victims of the tornado damage could also be at risk of worsening their mental health state by developing anxiety, depression.”
After all of the tornado’s devastation, residents remain resilient.
“The spirit of the city is amazing Everywhere that I have been from the gas station to the grocery store, people still manage to be happy,” said Sherman. “You tell people I lost everything and they hug you ask you if you alright and offer their serves. I don’t think you can get that anywhere else, that’s what keeps me going and gives me strength.”
Below is a link for anyone who is willing to donate to Sherman’s family.