Several Louisiana nursing home evacuees die in storm shelter

A nurse detailed horrifying conditions at a Louisiana warehouse where hundreds of nursing home patients were relocated before Hurricane Ida made landfall. At least seven nursing home residents have died after being moved to a warehouse facility in Tangipahoa Parish where more than 800 residents from seven nursing facilities were kept as Ida tore through Louisiana.

Natalie Henderson, who was at the warehouse, told CBS News that the nursing home patients were kept in squalid conditions. 

“They were hungry, they were thirsty. They were in pain. It was just very sad,” Henderson said. 

Images of the warehouse show patients in squalid conditions and packed closely together on mattresses. Some patients were forced to relieve themselves in small buckets.

“The whole place is reeking of urine and feces …,” Henderson added. “It was horrifying and the smell was so bad.”

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At least seven nursing home evacuees died after they were moved to a Louisiana warehouse before Hurricane Ida made landfall. CBS News

Henderson claimed the supervisors of the nursing homes would get mad if people spoke up about the unsafe conditions. She said she was let go from her job after speaking out.

“They try to paint me as a bad person trying to look out for them who can’t speak up for themselves,” Henderson said, emotional.

Bob Dean, the owner of the nursing homes, defended the evacuation.

“We only had five deaths within the six days. With normally, with 850 people, you’ll have a couple a day. So we did really good on taking care of people,” Dean said.

Louisiana state officials are investigating Dean. He did not respond to CBS News’ request for a statement.

The storm’s emotional toll extends throughout Louisiana. Some residents have given up and they’re leaving the state until electricity is restored.