The hours before Hurricane Katrina, I was on my way to Alexandria, LA. When I saw the size of the storm, I made a last minute judgment to leave. A 4-5 hour trip took me 14 hours and when I arrived, there was no lodging available. And even worse, no lodging for those with animals. I spent the night looking for a place to crash and came across a hotel which housed Coast Guard inductees. I used my US Navy Retirement ID to \"overtake\" a room in which to get some semblance of sleep. The following morning, I awoke to news that the storm missed us. I immediately gathered my things and drove back to New Orleans.....this was a HUGE mistake. As I approached LaPlace, the winds picked up, water crashed against the spillway bridge, and trees were losing branches on the roadway. When I reached Kenner, I could already see some of the devestation from the water and winds. Each side of I-10 was covered with 2-3 feet of water. I made it was far as Clearview Parkway before the road ended with barricades. I turned around and headed to Houma to stay with relatives, who also had sustained a bit of damage and power outages. During this time, I helped with cleanup and rescue efforts. (This is the extent I wish to speak about this topic, as I have seen things I do not want to recall). After we were allowed to enter Jefferson Parish, I began to repair the damages to my house as well as helping in the community. A good friend of mine came from another state to work for a church group. Our group completed 50 Habitat for Humanity projects before taking an active role in the rebuilding of other homes and businesses. As with most of the medical personnel in the city, I was forced to work in another town until the city was reopened for business. Finally, our Hospital which had a fair amount of damage, was reopened and, after many months, it was open to the public.\r\nThe city of New Orleans will never fully recover from Katrina; many people still fear another storm will bring the same amount of damage or even worse. Others simply cannot afford to go through it again.

Citation

Michael Brunet, “[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed September 25, 2017, http://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/44492.