I am sixty-three years old, and never before Katrina, have I evacutated for a hurrican. I live in the New Orleans metropolitan area (Metairie, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana). When I realized how large and dangerous this storm was going to be, I followed my children/grandchildren to Texas. Since Hurrican Betsy, in 1965, we, New Orleans/Jefferson Parish had not had a Hurrican of Katrina\'s magnitude hit us. \r\n\r\nI had just bought a larger vehicle in June, 2005, and thank God I did. It, and everything in it, I eventually realized, could be all I had left in the world.\r\n\r\nWhen I made the desision to leave, four of my grandchildren rode with me.\r\nI also loaded it with as many pictures as I could, besides some clothes, pillows, important papers, jewelry(sentimental stuff) that I could fit. My brave husband, who had just had a Heart Attack the year before, and most recently in March of 2005, had had Open Heart Surgery, decided he would not leave. He wanted to stay home and be sure noone looted us. I kissed him goodbye, and we were on our way...meeting up with my other kids just before entering the I-10 west.\r\n\r\nWe drove all night to get to the Houston area, and registered in a motel. We paid for a week, as we didn\'t know how long we would be away,\r\nor if we could ever go back home. \r\n\r\nAfter settling down, we slept, woke up and ate, and from watching and hearing about the destruction, etc., we began talking about finding a house to share, or some apartments we could stay in for a while. My sons made calls to my husband, and told me , their dad \'didn\'t sound too good.\' That I should try to convince him to leave Metairie, and meet us in Texas. Which I thanked God again, he did.\r\n\r\nMy husband arrived on Wednesday. As it turned out, we were very lucky to find some apartments in a complex, in a small suburb of Houston. They very nicely worked with us on a prorated rent. Equally, the motel \'people\' were willing to return our money. I have to say, we were treated very well by the people in Texas. We wound up staying in Texas for several weeks, when we learned we could not go home, for awhile.\r\n\r\nEventually the authorities in \r\nJefferson Parish, began to let some people in. As we contemplated when we\r\nmight be able to return home, Hurrican Rita was heading for, not only Texas, but the area we were staying in. An evacutation had been ordered by the Texas authorities for\r\nthe exact area we had settled down in. Once again, we were on the road.\r\n\r\nAs I was to learn from my husband, our house had not been touched by the storm. He said water came up to the front door, and water came up to the back door, but we had not gotten any water in our house. Which I attributed to my warning signs on my front and back doors, WARNING...THIS PROPERTY PROTECTED BY ANGELS, and the St Joseph\'s Altar bread, in my freezer. (It\'s a local thing.) So we left, and went home. One son, was not so lucky, he and his wife had gotten water in their house. They had to stay with his wife\'s sister for months after returning home, and finally getting a FEMA trailer. My other son and daughter, were able to return to their homes.\r\n\r\nAs for how my life has changed, since Katrina, My husband and I lost our business, totally. Our business was maintaing the fuel trucks at New Orleans Lakefront Airport, a small airport in eastern New Orleans. Since Katrina, we have never been able to go back and claim our livelihood. So,\r\nwe are trying to live on social security and I can tell you it has not been easy for us. We both have health problems with no insurance. \r\n\r\nIt\'s very hard, and quite a rude awakening, to find ourselves in such a position from Hurrican Katrina. \r\nThere are no programs that can help us financially. We applied for them, but for some reason or other, did not qualify. While this has been a struggle, it has also been quite an experience.



“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed April 13, 2024, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/27230.