As I walk up the steps of the home I worked all my life for,memories of August 29 come flooding back. I look up and see the peak of the roof that my daughter and baby and I climbed onto during the eye of Katrina. I can still feel the water touching my toes as I straddled the roof holding a tiny baby in my arms, wondering how can I save my family and why did I make such a terrible choice to not leave. As I open the front door as I did so many years before to the comfort of my home, now I open the door to a gutted out frame of a house. As I climb the stairs I remember looking down and watching my furniture floating. I remember going upstairs and closing the door as if that could shut the water out. As I desperately held my grand baby in my arms and prayed and begged God to save up, I could feel the water on my ankles. When it got daylight, I looked out the upstairs window and the water was even with the window, I knew we were going to die. Fear like I have never felt before gripped at my gut and then survival kicked in. I can still feel the desperation as we climbed out the window onto the roof and nothing but water as far as you could see. My thoughts, \"What do I do to save my family\"? As my daughter slipped into the water to find a boat, swimming, not knowing where she was going, just that she had to save her baby and her mom. I screamed out her name time after time, but nothing but silence. My thoughts, what do I do. I am holding tis tiny baby in my arms, how can I go swimming and look for my daughter, tears poured and my heart ached as never before, I thought she had drowned. Then in the distance I heard a outboard motor start and I knew she had found a boat. She came around the back of the house with the boat and trailer still hooked onto the boat. I had to drop the baby and dogs between power lines to get them where she could catch them. When it was my turn to get into the boat I panicked, Tasha screaming jump mama, I am standing on the roof. Finally I jumped and climbed into the boat. I can feel the wind picking up hard, trying desperately to get the trailer off the boat, finally I got it off, the wind was howling and blew the boat into some tree limbs and broke the window of the cabin and the boat was being blown in all directions. I took the baby and went under the steering wheel for the next seven hours. The wind howled and the gust would hit the boat and it would almost turn over, and right before water would pour in it would rock back. I sat on the floor looking into my grand baby\'s face and she smiled through it all, never cried. We prayed and sang \"The Anchor Holds\" and God saved us. After being rescued by the United States Coast Guard, the first to be rescued anywhere, our night mare really began. So many times I wished I would have stayed in my house. We were locked up like animals with no food or water or bathroom facilities, the stench was unreal, at that time I gave up, as I sat on the dirty floor, knowing I lost a life time of everything I ever worked for, not having a dime, no vehicle, no home, no shoes or clothes I did not want to live anymore. We literally had to break., the police was trying to arrest us. We got out of the so called shelter after a riot broke out and walked down the street and ask people unloading furniture to help us, we were bare footed, dirty, wet and they told us no. I flagged a truck down and a real nice man brought us to a friends house in Westwego, we had no money, I broke into his house, siffened gas out his boat to put into his truck and we left out of New Orleans 3 dogs, baby, wearing boxer drawers and t-shirt with no shoes until we got to Praireville and my nephew came and got us. The memories are more vivid now then ever and the tears still pour. Yes, I thank God for saving us, but this ache will never go away.

Citation

Bobbie Jean Moreau, “[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed November 20, 2019, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/32644.