Local News

New Orleans Family Members Wonder When, If They Can Return Home

Posted September 1, 2005 10:17 a.m. EDT

— Families from New Orleans have now scattered across the country to stay with family or seek shelter. One family from the suburb of Harahan drove 25 hours and finally made it to relatives in Durham.

Lynn Fontana has unexpected house guests. Her mother and sister's family evacuated Louisiana and packed for just two days, but they have no idea how long they are staying.

"You can't get home and people don't understand what it's like when you can't get home. It's hard," said Mike Boyd.

There will be challenges at home and there are challenges in Durham in the interim. Anna Fontana, 76, is paralyzed. and there is no bathroom on the first floor.

"Transferring from a wheelchair, there are issues. You have to have things at the right level and we won't," said Lynn Fontana.

Fontana has been restoring her Minerva Street home and had yet to get around to the downstairs bathroom. A Durham assisted-living home has offered to let Fontana stay in one of its apartments for five days for free.

However, she may need to stay longer. They do not know when their lives will return to normal and it is that uncertainty that keeps their minds spinning.

Mike Boyd, 17, wonders what will happen to his high school senior class.

"I'd just be really upset if we broke up and had to go to a bunch of different schools. I really want to graduate from the school I've gone to for four years already," Mike Boyd said.

The family thinks its home is OK, but what's upsetting the most is they are not going back to the same place they left.

"Why do I want to live somewhere where you don't have friends and family? Not because their gone but because they can't be there anymore," Boyd said.

Boyd will head back next week with generators and fuel and hopes his family can soon follow.