‘We can’t afford to leave’: No cash or gas to flee from Ida

By LEAH WILLINGHAM, the Associated Press

Robert Owens was feeling defeated and helpless as he waited for one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. to make landfall in Louisiana’s capital city. The 27-year-old had spent days anxiously watching long lines of cars evacuating Baton Rouge to safer locations out of state as Hurricane Ida approached. He hoped he and his wife, his mother-in-law, roommate and four pets would be among them. But leaving would require money for gas and a hotel room — something they didn’t have. Owens said the majority of people in his low-income neighborhood were in the same predicament. They want to leave to protect their families, but had no choice but to stay.