By JULIET LINDERMAN and CLAIRE GALOFARO
HOUMA, La. (AP) — As one of the most powerful hurricanes in the nation’s history barreled into Louisiana, a pair of hospitals squarely in its path braced for the worst. Medical facilities facing a Category 4 storm typically either evacuate or discharge as many patients as possible. But amid the community’s fourth surge of COVID-19, the hospitals were packed with patients too sick to be sent home. And hospitals that lay outside the hurricane’s most destructive path were too full of COVID patients to absorb any more. So, nurses, doctors and paramedics already exhausted from battling one catastrophe stayed put, watching through the windows as a second one tore into town with 150 mph winds.