\"Where were you during Katrina\"\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n When I remember Katrina pain, panic, desperation, powerless, and agony comes to my memories. It all started on a Wednesday August 24, 2005. When the news headline announce, \"A major hurricane is coming to New Orleans\". Well it was actually nothing new because we had experienced in the past for example hurricane Ivan. Everyone thought that it was going to be like the previous hurricanes. We would leave the city and come back in two or three days.\r\nIt was Sunday August 28, 2005 the city had made a mandatory evacuation since Friday. At this time a great amount of the population had left the city. Wile I was still in the city trying to convince my dad to leave. At that time, I was 17 years old. My mission to convince my dad of leaving the city failed. Around noon I gave my dad a hug and told him that I loved him. I ask my stepmother if she wanted to come with me. She responded to me, \"No, I can\'t leave your dad here by him self. I\'m staying with him and my two little girls.\" Not knowing what else to do to convince them I got in my car that I had bought three days ago. With a lot of pain in my hearth by leaving them in New Orleans, my journey with my two brothers began. \r\nI left with panic thinking about what would happen to my family back home. I didn\'t know where I was going, until my mom called me telling me that her flight landed in Houston because the New Orleans airport was closed. It really surprised me because I thought she was in Honduras on her vacation, but thank God she had come back. She told me to meet her at a hotel in Houston, Texas. That phone call was a light at the end of a tunnel.\r\nWhile I was driving my two little brothers would kill time by telling me jokes like, \"look over there to that car your boyfriend!\" I was in agony by not knowing where he went or how he was. I tried calling him but his phone didn\'t work. I kept driving or at least try because traffic was slower than a turtle. I had seven hours of driving without rest. I was falling asleep at the wheel I tried to slap my self so I could wake up. I made a decision to park in the shoulders of the road and go to sleep for ten minutes. It didn\'t work because emergency cars would drive there like an ambulance that woke me up by trying to pass. I rapidly woke up and my hearth was biting fast, my head was hearting by waking up so scare. I continued my journey to Houston. I was driving when I suddenly looked over to my left and see my boyfriend with his friends. I got so happy to finally see him. Knowing that he was fine relief a lot of my worries but my dad was still in the back of my head. Traffic was so slow that I told him to come with me. He got in my car and helped me drive. I finally got some sleep.\r\nWe got to Houston around 5 a.m. I meet my mom, stepfather, and grandmother at a hotel. I went to the room to put my bags down. The journey was really tough and tiring. My boyfriend and two brothers went straight to sleep. I turned on the television so I could watch the news and nothing really bad was yet reported. When I went to sleep I prayed to God and told him, \"please take care of my family that stayed back home.\" While I was in Houston I stayed tuned to the news of hurricane Katrina. On Tuesday I saw that the city was flooded. Seeing and hearing that the levees broke was like breaking my heart. I felt powerless not knowing how my dad was. I was not able to do anything but wait. Having to suffer the agony of not knowing anything about my family made me feel desperate.\r\nOn the eight day we returned back home to my mom\'s house in LaPlace. Thank God her house was fine. Sooner my mom\'s house seemed like a hotel. It was full with family members that had lost everything during the hurricane. It was 22 persons in a 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom house. Just to go to the bathroom was a chaos and having to cook for ever one would take us hours. It was really uncomfortable I didn\'t had any privacy. When I try to sleep at night kids would cry and scream. I remember going to a gas station and waiting in a long line. I got gas for my car and also gas in a red container for my dad. I figured that if he was ok his car would need gas. I drove from LaPlace to Metairie. I tried going by the I-10 but cops would not let anybody in it was for emergency vehicles only. I took an alternative route I wasn\'t going to give up. I took a street called Airline Highway I had to wait in a long line to get back in the city. When I finally got there I was so nervous to see if the house was still there but the most painful moment was to see if my dad was still there. Thank God he was there alive with my two little sisters and stepmother. When I saw my dad I felt relief. I hugged him and started to cry of happiness. \r\nAfter the storm there is hope. Here I\'m in New Orleans a year after this catastrophic storm, trying to rebuild our city and of course our lives. I believe that before rebuilding New Orleans we need to rebuild the people. New Orleans culture is back and it\'s back to stay. In memories to those who lost their lives we should rebuild. \r\n\r\nBy: Jenny Bardales\r\n

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Citation

Jenny Bardales, “[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed November 16, 2018, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/12101.