Six years ago today — Katrina

Monday, August 29, 2011

There are many things that happen in a person's life that sticks with them forever — one of those will always be Katrina for me.

Six years ago today, we were watching and waiting on this massive hurricane named Katrina.  No one really knew where she would hit directly or how much actual damage she would really do, but only time would tell the shear hell she brought with her. 

I was living about eight minutes from my parent's house in a rental house with Marleigh.  The day before it hit, my parents told me to pack up some things and get to their house.  I didn't leave until early that morning when I heard the wind starting to howl, but I had my bag packed and MB's too, and we left headed to "safety."  My dad was already gone to the office so it was just mom, MB and me.  We watched The Weather Channel as Jim Cantore was basically standing at an angle because of the wind and rain.  Still not knowing what was to come for us, just a few hundred miles away.

Around 10:30 a.m. the power was out.  And it didn't come back on for another six days.  We sat there in the living watching out the windows, praying it would end soon.  Listening to 97OKK, we would hear them tell us that the worse was over as night fell upon us, only outside it sounded like it was getting worse.  With every tree snapping and limbs breaking, we jumped.  Knowing there was nothing we would do was the worst. 

After the sleepless night, we saw day break and the aftermath of Katrina.  Walking outside, we saw trees down, power lines every where and could hear chain saws roaring down the road.  The sun was shining and there was still a strong breeze as if she was still near.    

As we began to clean up the yard, we saw neighbors lending a hand to help others and neighbors sharing food, water and generators.  We didn't know what was going on in New Orleans, or anywhere else.  And didn't know anything about it until after we heard on the radio the turmoil in NOLA.  We unplugged the generator for a moment to give the TV power and our eyes saw for the first time the devastation in the south.  It was plain awful.  We thought we had it bad, but our coastal counties proved us wrong.  They had nothing left but piles of bricks and sand.  We still had our houses, even though the yards were a mess — we were blessed.

As the day goes on today, many will remember August 29, 2005.  Anyone who lived through it in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama — they will never forget it.


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