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Trinity shelter hosts flood victims for a second night

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 9:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Monday night, about 150 people whose homes flooded slept at Trinity Baptist facilities. Tuesday the number of those staying thinned out, but some who stayed are in a bad way.

Natosha Cotlone says all she and her three-year-old daughter have is in the garbage bag they carry with them.

“My clothes, my child’s clothes, and that’s all we have due to two hurricanes, a flood, my life, my child’s social security and birth certificate,” Cotlone said.

She says she was living in her car, but now that’s flooded.

Another family came to Trinity after a traumatic day having trouble picking up their kids from school and then a flooded home.

“I was looking for my kids, and I couldn’t get to my kids for hours. My kids didn’t get home until 11 o’clock last night,” said Conswella Stewart.

“Less than a year apart, that’s twice we lost everything due to unexpected weather,” said her husband, Andrew Stewart.

Yet, it has been a place of hope and comfort for those in dire straits.

Angela Jouett is the director of the Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps.

“They came in wet, tired. We were able to get them dried off, a quick shower, stay the night, and more than half of them left, went back home,” Jouett said.

So many who have been through so much likely face a long and hard road ahead. Still, “We got to. The good Lord got us,” said Andrew.

The Trinity shelter planned to remain open Tuesday night, but advised those seeking shelter to first call 211 to double check where they should go.

The Calcasieu Coroner’s Office and safe sleep task force want to make sure those who flooded have a safe bed for their infant.

They provided Pack ‘n Play beds to parents at the Trinity shelter who needed one for their child’s safe sleep.

Task force member Jade Marler says inflatable mattresses, car or bouncy seats, as well as sofas or chairs can be dangerous for a sleeping baby.

“Especially under a year old, we don’t want to add any extra things to their crib. We want them alone, on their back and in their own space in a crib. So, we are available to anyone who needs information or a pack ‘n play, sleep sack or anything like that,” Marler said.

She says Region Five has lost 59 infants over the last five years due to unsafe sleep practices, some since Hurricanes Laura and Delta.

You can reach Marler at the Health Unit, (337) 475-3224 or call the Calcasieu Coroner’s office (337) 477-7537.

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