Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed thousands of homes, schools, and businesses across the Gulf Coast and changed the face of southeast Louisiana forever. However, nearly a hundred miles northwest of New Orleans, in Lafayette, Louisiana, a different story was unfolding. As men, women, and children waited on their roofs for rescue, executive director Greg Davis hurried to prepare the Cajundome in Lafayette as an emergency shelter.
The workers and volunteers in the Cajundome provided food, showers, and medical care to more than eighteen thousand evacuees that came to Lafayette. From the first busloads of newly homeless to the disasters caused by Hurricane Rita, Fifty-Eight Days in the Cajundome Shelter shares personal accounts of heartache and joy, tragedy and triumph. For the first time, here is a collection of the stories of the volunteers and evacuees. Their heroism, courage, and despair are etched into these stories as they endured the first few weeks in a hurricane-ravaged world.
Retold here is the bravery and leadership of Donald Williams as he took charge and led a convoy of handicapped and elderly to safety. Readers will also be captivated by the unforgettable story of the Prevost family as they climbed their way to the roof of their home and their heartbreaking journey to dry land on I-10. The author includes her own personal accounts of what really happened in the aftermath of Katrina and the bravery and selflessness of countless people who struggled to make a difference.