My mom and dad, Emile Jr. and Delores Artus, who lived in New Orleans in one of the lowest areas of town (near Robert E. Lee and the London Ave. Canal), were flooded out of their house on Aug. 29, 2005, the day of Katrina. It was their 54th wedding anniversary. My dad, who is stubborn when it comes to evacuating, had to lead my mom, who is rather frail, through chest-deep water to escape their house. After 2-3 hours of shuttling to different driveways to escape the highest of the water, they were (luckily) flagged down by two women in a second-floor apartment on Robert E. Lee, about 4 blocks west of their house . They made it up there to the second floor, and the four of them spent two days and nights there with no power, food, or presumably drinkable water.\r\n\r\nOn Wednesday, they and their hosts were rescued from the second-floor window by boat, and taken to a staging area at the junction of I-10 and I-610. From there, they were bused to a shelter at Nicholls State Univ. in Thibodaux. It wasn\'t until late Sunday night, Sept. 4 that we found out they were there. They had tried to call my sister Laurie, but she and her family had evacuated themselves, prior to getting over 2 feet of water in their Slidell house.\r\n\r\nI arranged to meet Laurie at the airport in Baton Rouge on Monday, and we went down to get our parents. After a night at a hotel, where they were able to clean up for the first time in a week, I took them back to Charlotte, NC, where they stayed with my wife Shelly and me for 10 months. Meanwhile, Laurie\'s family, after living in a FEMA trailer themselves for a while, got the bottom part of their house gutted and restored, moving back in just after New Year\'s.\r\n\r\nMy parents\' house was a total loss, having had water up to the ceiling for 3 weeks before it receded. As the house was 60 years old to start with, it was not worth saving. They sold it for what they could get for it, and with those proceeds, insurance (fortunately they had flood insurance) and a little savings, they were able to purchase a small house about 5 minutes from my sister in Slidell. My dad went back for good on July 2, 2006, and my mom followed the next week. They are very glad to be back in the \"flatlands\", in a familiar climate and environment. They are doing quite well, everything considered, and love their new house. There\'s a lot to be done (mainly, my dad wants badly to get back to his gardening), but it\'s all getting done slowly, as the availability of help permits. Laurie and her husband, who is retired, help them out with transportation, heavy labor, and logistics.\r\n\r\nWe are all thankful for having not lost our parents (as others we know did lose relatives), and for being in a position where we could help, each in our own way and time. And, we - and they - will always remember with gratitude the moral and financial support they received from everyone we encountered. When they arrived at our house, they had only the clothes they were wearing, and what personal effects they could grab in a small bag. Everything else was lost to the flood and the mold. They were just overwhelmed by the way everyone came together and helped. \r\n\r\n



“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed July 25, 2024,