Sadadra Davis spends hundreds of dollars every month to talk to her fiancé, Johnion Davis, on the phone. They’re inseparable, she says, even though he has spent the last few months incarcerated at Nelson Coleman Correctional Center in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, and each call runs about $5. But then Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29.

That afternoon on the phone with him, Davis said she heard what sounded like “the wind taking the roof off” the top of the jail. St. Charles Parish was flooding, and winds touching 100 miles an hour ripped through the neighborhoods bordering the Mississippi River. Although the parish was under a mandatory evacuation order, Johnion and more than 300 other inmates were left at the facility.

“I was like, ‘You know y’all are under mandatory evacuation,” Davis recalled saying. “He responded basically with, ‘These people aren’t worried about us.’”

Within minutes of Ida reaching St. Charles, the jail lost power and running water. Davis, who lives more than two hours away in Lafayette, was worried about her fiance but couldn’t get any information from the sheriff’s office in charge of the facility. Friends and family members, too, were left in the dark.

Ida, a fast-moving storm that turned into a hurricane in three days after forming, tested local governments’ emergency response plans. Some areas, like New Orleans, told residents to shelter in place, whereas towns in neighboring parishes were under evacuation orders. But Davis isn’t alone in thinking that officials neglected incarcerated people: More than a dozen civil rights groups have raised questions about why some detention facilities in Hurricane Ida’s path weren’t evacuated before the storm.

Read the full article about prisons hit by Hurricane Ida by Adam Mahoney at Grist.