I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. For most of my life, that’s all I knew. Never in a million years, did I ever think I would move for the reasons I did. I will try not to get all emotional on you guys, so I will try to keep this post short (relatively). But I want to tell you about the time I was kicked out of my hometown.
August 13, 2005 I put my two weeks notice in at my job and August 27, 2005 was my last day. I wanted to focus on school, so I didn’t want anything standing in my way. Not knowing about any hurricane, I went home and saw my oldest brother getting ready to leave. I was confused. I thought something had happened.
They informed me that Hurricane Katrina was coming our way. In the inside, I chuckled. We always run from a “threatening storm”. But never once does it actually hit. My brother was trying to get my mom and I to go with him but she refused. She insisted we would be fine. Reluctantly, my oldest brother left with his fiance’ and her family. I was going to go with my older brother to Dallas on Sunday, but that didn’t work out. So me, my mom, great-aunt, who live around the corner, and her cat were all going to stay home. We lived in New Orleans east in a two-story house. So we could retreat upstairs if something “actually” happened. But we didn’t think anything would.
Well, anyway, my oldest brother wasn’t too keen on that idea so he bugged, pleaded, begged, and fussed at my mom to at least go by my dad (her husband). My dad worked in a hospital as a respiratory therapist at the time. It was located in Metairie, a city right outside New Orleans. So eventually, to appease my brother, she did and took us with her. The hospital (East Jefferson) allowed for a few family members of the workers to stay there until everything was over.
Sunday night we got one pair of changing clothes (mind you…I said ONE pair), expecting to be home the next day, and left to go to Metairie. My dad showed us to our “room”. It was a very small waiting room. All four of us (mom, dad, great aunt, and myself) shared that tiny space. The cat had to stay in the car (poor kitty). In my head, I thought going to Metairie was a bit extremely. Well, that night the rain picked up and the winds grew stronger and louder. I can’t lie, I was a little shaken. The next thing I knew the power went out and the generators came one. It was very late at night when all of this was happening. I was worried, but I did what I could only do. Whenever it rained and I wasn’t doing anything that needed my attention, I would sleep. Can you guess what I did? Yep! I slept. I slept during the brunt of Hurricane Katrina.
When I woke up, I looked outside and it was water all around the hospital. I was in disbelief, but I still wasn’t convinced that New Orleans was destroyed. However, when they got the TV to work, I learned differently. New Orleans, my hometown, was destroyed. I didn’t really know how to respond to the news. I never went through anything on this caliber. We lost everything. Our house had over 8 feet of water; there was nothing to go back to. Life as I knew it was over. I will try to find pictures of the house before it was gutted out. I will post them as soon as I find them.
For a little over two weeks we were in the hospital with my parents and aunt, crammed in that tiny room (that I thank God for). Remember I only packed one changing out fit. The first week was rough, but the hospital soon provided us with some more clothes. So after the first week I had about 3 changing clothes.
Once we were cleared to leave, we headed to Dallas, TX and I lived there with my parents until I got married! To get more of my thoughts, read “Why Hurricane Katrina was a blessing for me” Wow! this was supposed to be short! HA!
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