NEW ORLEANS -- When you see AnJanette Perkins' smile as she works to help those recovering from tragedy, you'd never know she's undergoing one of her own.
“Suddenly the water just started coming really fast so we didn't really have a lot of time to prepare to leave. We had to wait to be rescued,” she said.
She was rescued from her home in LaPlace. It, like so many others, was swallowed by flood water in Isaac.
But Perkins hasn't been back since. Instead, she's working 12- to 16-hour days at the disaster food stamp program in the Alario Center.
“I'm at work,” she said. “Eventually I'll get back to my house to take care of it. I know we probably have mold and everything growing in it, but we're OK now. We're safe.”
Safe, but still a long way to go. And with an average of nearly 10,000 people a day coming through the Alario Center, lines have been long and frustrations have run high.
But Perkins said one thing keeps her going.
“It just gives me joy knowing I can help someone in need,” she said. “I may think my situation is bad, but there might be someone else that may have a different situation, so there's no need for me to be sad and moping.”
Many of these workers haven't been home since the hurricane. They were working in shelters before the food stamps centers opened.
Thursday is scheduled to be the last day, but officials have asked the feds for a one-week extension.