A woman who grew up in southwest Iowa is living with her mom again — because of the hurricane. Creston native Karla Stewart Hosh was living in Biloxi, Mississippi, but now she’s living in her mother’s basement in Winterset. “I actually still have a home structure in Mississippi but not really a home to go to. Everything that I’ve known for about the past 18 years is all gone,” she says. “I actually work in New Orleans and now there’s no way for me to get to my job from Mississippi. All the bridges are gone. I’m almost kind of homeless and jobless.” Karla’s son started school in Winterset on Thursday.”He knows maybe one person here from spending a couple of weeks with my mom here and there,” she says. “All his friends are left behind and they weren’t going to have school down there until about the middle of November…I just couldn’t take that chance for him to be out of school that long and just to sit idle. At 14, he needs more to keep him busy than that.” Karla’s husband is a fire fighter, and he stayed behind to deal with the hurricane’s aftermath. “I really fought him on coming up here. I was like: ‘I’ll just stay’ and he’s like ‘You can’t get to work. There’s no power. There’s no water pressure. There’s diseases. There’s dead stuff in the street. There’s no reason for you to be here’,” she says. “He’s really had it hard because they’re on search and recovery…it’s really hard on him.” Hosh says she only just a quarter of a tank of gas in her car when she made the decision to flee north. No gas stations in Bioloxi had gas, so they drained the law mower and motorcycle to try to put more gas in her tank. Then, she drove the backroads, hoping the smaller towns she went through would have stations with gasoline as opposed to the bigger cities which had shortages or were absolutely lacking any gasoline. She feared, though, that she might get stranded along the way if she wasn’t able to find gas, but she did find it and filled up — when she had about a quarter of a tank left. Hosh is looking for a job and has filled out applications in the Des Moines area. She has one more paycheck coming from her New Orleans employer, but wants to find a job here because she wants to get back in a normal routine. Karla’s mom is Jill Stewart Neely of Winterset.
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