Dear Former Gov. Kathleen Blanco:
I am so very happy to hear how well you are progressing with your diagnosis of cancer of the eye. I never knew a person could get melanoma in they; thought it was a skin cancer. Learn something new everyday.
I recently had the pleasure of a Special Needs Evacuation from my city of Kenner & my parish of Jefferson via MITS to Mike Miley Playground in Metairie for a 4 hrs ride aboard a luxury bus to Alexandria LA where I was introduced to the MegaShelter during Hurricane Isaac. Up until the bus stopping in front of the bldg. on Tues Aug 28th, I had no idea that this "creature" existed. I understood from the MD in charge that funding & plans started during your tenure as Governor & that is was completed during Governor Bobby Jindal's 1st term @ a final cost of in the neighborhood of $37 million dollars. Now that I know this 225,000 sq ft evacuations shelter exists, I've googled it & learned that it opened back in '08 for Hurricane Gustav & Ike. I also understood that is was a nightmare grand opening for Gustav. I did evacuate in '08 w/ the Gov's mandatory evacuation plan but was spared the experience of the MegaShelter then & sent to a college campus in Bessemer Ala amidst the rolling hills & beautiful country scenery sleeping in a classroom w/ maybe 40-50 fellow evacuees. this '08 experience was in stark contrast to my '12 experience w/ maybe 1,500-2,000 evacuees & sleping in Special Needs w/ maybe 75-100! I understand that 2 other MegaShelters were planned in Monroe & Shreveport but funding ran out before ground could be broken. After spending 5 days in Special Needs MegaShelter-Alexandria, I'[m sure I could write a book! On paper, your concept for a high quality, high number evacuation shelter was right on the money but in reality, it has a lot to be desired. It was much appreciated to be able to get out of harm's way & havea/c in the extreme heat, electricity, hot showers, functioning toilets, 3 meals per day served by Piccadilly & safety w/ the La Nat'l Guard & La State Troopers on assignment BUT conditions inside w/ the vast # evacuees .& some of the quality/actions of these same & the sleeping accommodations in special needs left a lot to be desired. I realize you are no longer in State Gov't & are dealing w/ serious health issues, but I came back from this experience having to deal w/ some health issues I didn't have before I went there. I thought maybe since you are a fellow Louisianian & senior female like myself you might be willing to listen to my suggestions & be able to pass them on. I did not know how to contact you other than using this Caring Bridge Website but if there is an email address I could write to to continue my discussion, I would appreciate being supplied with it. Sincerely Ms. Cheryl Bergeron Bonie (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (504) 305-6724 4139A Loire Dr. Kenner La 70065-5464)