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Haven't eaten in 3 days | Long lines for food, water as desperation grows

Hurricane Ida's powerful rain and wind forced the roof over her head to cave in. She's been sleeping on the ground in a shed ever since.

The City of New Orleans is providing free meals to residents once again on Wednesday. Just like Tuesday, the city is expecting long lines.

In Algiers Tuesday afternoon, the line of people seeking help stretched on and on, curving around the Arthur Monday Center hours before the relief began. 

Hundreds of people waited in their cars, or came on foot, waiting in the heat for some food and water. 

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One woman, Diana Estes, was desperate for some food and water. She said she hadn't eaten in days. 

"I'm hurtin' miss. I have nothing nobody to help me. If anybody can help me," Estes pleaded. 

Hurricane Ida's powerful rain and wind forced the roof over her head to cave in. She's been sleeping on the ground in a shed ever since.

VIDEO: Long lines for aid in Algiers stretch blocks

"We're burning up. We wake up in sweat, we burning up in sweat. We need help in New Orleans," Estes said.

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With so many grocery stores either closed or empty, food is scarce. Council member Kristin Palmer organized the event in just 12 hours, partnering with area food banks to distribute 2,000 meals and set up a phone charging site. 

"We've never had lines like this, even at the beginning if the pandemic," Palmer said. "It's really incredible. You can ready see the need."

Palmer said she feared they would run out of food early as people showed up nonstop for hours.

One New Orleans resident, Wanda Jacks, said she couldn't afford to evacuate. 

"The hardest part is seeing my kids go through it," Jacks said. "When they fall asleep I be crying like 'Lord please help us out of this situation.' When is this gonna be over, how long we gonna be out of lights? It's horrible."

Amid all of the suffering, there are still givers trying to make things better for the city, even if it's just for a day.  A hot meal is a temporary reprieve from the uncertainty that lies ahead.