Nursing home didn’t evacuate Katrina’s Aftermath

12:14 AM CDT on Thursday, September 8, 2005
By KAREN BROOKS / The Dallas Morning News

CHALMETTE, La. – When St. Bernard Parish officials realized last week that St. Rita’s Nursing Home had not evacuated as Hurricane Katrina bore down on the parish, they called to ask why. Their offer to send buses to help was turned down, they said Wednesday.

No one knows for sure why officials of St. Rita’s, a privately owned nursing home, chose not to evacuate. On Wednesday, officials were still unsure of the number of people who died there, but previous estimates put the toll at 30 or more.
….
Parish officials were still trying to piece together what happened.

St. Rita’s staffers never put their plan into effect.
….
Sunday afternoon….Officials said she also told them that she had spoken with the families of patients who said it was okay to stay behind.

“There was frustration over not having her patients out; a false sense of security because they’d never flooded before; they had generators and stuff, and it [an evacuation] tends to be traumatic for some of these special-needs patients,” Dr. Bertucci said.

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