We live in the tiny town where Katrina first came ashore in Louisiana. \r\nBuras, Lousiana. \r\nOur story is epic. It is a story of the fight for and the survival of a whole town.\r\nFor those of us who lived here prior to Katrina, the hurricane did not end on August 29th, 2005 or 3 weeks later when Rita back-handed us again. \r\nThe impact is still ongoing; it is more than a reference point in our conversation. It is still tangible and leaving lasting effects on us now nearly 4 years later.\r\nWhen you lose your whole community and all of the communities around you for miles so definitely, it affects the very fiber of you.\r\nWe have for the most part moved on physically, you have no choice. But the bruises and scars are deep. \r\nBuras was a thriving little town with 2 grocery stores, 2 banks, Insurance offices, an H&R Block, pre-K-12 Schools on 2 campuses, a radio shack, video stores, gas stations, 2 florists, a large drug store/dry goods store, Hardware stores, a lumberyard, 2 dollar stores, several bars and many restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, etc.\r\nIn one single day, they were ALL gone!\r\nThe land was so scoured by Katrina, I had a very difficult time finding the location of my place of worship as well as many of my friend\'s properties!\r\nFirst responders and recovery workers had no idea what we had lost; to them our area was just a rural area that didn\'t have much to lose in the first place. \r\nYou had to look close to find the slabs where our homes sat. There was no trace of our gardens and flowerbeds.\r\nMy husband and I came back to New Orleans exactly 1 month after Katrina. \r\nI never understood the true meaning of the word displace until Katrina.\r\nWe lived in a \"loaned\" luxury apartment in RiverRidge, LA during most of October 2005. \r\nWe lived in a 12X12 oilfield bunkhouse in Chevron\'s shelter camp during October, November and December 2005 outside of Belle Chasse, LA.\r\nJanuary 2006 we spent 2 weeks in the Sheraton, Canal Street downtown New Orleans.\r\nMid-January - March 7th 2006 for 1000.00 a month we rented a one room pool-shed behind a complete stranger\'s home in the Lake Oaks Subdivision in New Orleans off of Elysian Fields.\r\nMarch 8th, 2006 - January 1, 2008 we stayed in a FEMA trailer park in a FEMA trailer outside of Belle Chasse.\r\nMy husband, a commercial fisherman, drove south to Buras every day the whole time we were displaced. Because of Katrina my place of work in Buras was destroyed I now work in Belle Chasse. My work place is displaced.\r\nDISPLACE\r\nMain Entry: dis�place \r\nPronunciation: dis-�pl�s, di-�spl�s\\ \r\nFunction:transitive verb \r\n1 a: to remove from the usual or proper place ; specifically : to expel or force to flee from home or homeland <displaced persons> \r\nb: to remove from an office, status, or job \r\n2 c: obsolete : to drive out : banish\r\nMy definition of Displacement is not having a place where you belong. \r\nEverything familiar is GONE and you don\'t have a place that belongs to you or you to it. \r\nYou are out of place!\r\nIt took 2 years 4 months and 3 days to get back to Buras.\r\nAnd the Buras we came home to was NOT the Buras of August 28th 2005.\r\nWe are still displaced in a way.\r\nMost of our friends have moved away. My neighbors have moved. The grocery stores have never returned. Our place of worship was not rebuilt. \r\nAnd still after nearly 4 years a few remains of Buras buildings sit gutted, dilapidated and gaping in their ruin. \r\nMy commute to work is no longer just less than a mile. My commute now is 52 miles one way EVERY day! 104 miles round trip! \r\nWe do see small glimmers of what was. \r\nI drive past a newly dedicated park in the middle of Buras every evening. I see children running, slick like little minnows, playing in the spray from the water park fountains, parents sit watching and laughing in the evening sun and you can almost feel like it never happened. It almost feels like home.\r\n

Citation

“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 19, 2022, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/40569.

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