I lived in St.Bernard parish during Hurricane Katrina..We were planning to stay and ride it out, but on Sunday morning, 8/28, my husband woke me up at 6 a.m. to tell me the winds were 160mph and I had to leave. He did not tell me that he was going to stay. He worked for the school board, and wanted to be there to help with evacuees. I would not have left if I had not had a 12 year old. I left, praying for the best, and went to Alabama. On Monday morning, my husband called me from St.Bernard and told me that the worst seemed to be over, and it did not look too bad. I told him we would be home on Tuesday. About 10 min. later, after he hung up, he said the water came pouring into the parish. Thank God I did not know this at the time! The electricity went off at the hotel we were staying in, and we could not see the news, or call him, because cell phone use was out. On Tuesday morning, we started heading back to LA, thinking everything was okay. We got as far as Piccayune, MS., and could not go any further. We had to stay at a school, but could not sleep inside since I had 2 dogs with me. We slept in the van. We washed our clothes in the sink in the bathroom in the school. It was HOT!! There was no food until Wednesday, and just a few bottles of water. I was nearly out of gas, and could not go back. There were no gas stations working since there was no electricity. We met a man and his son, and they were in the same situation.. Lo and behold, they finally got some gas for their car, I don\'t know how, but they took some phone numbers of my family and husband and promised to call them as soon as they could., and they left. I thought I would probably not hear from them again. On Thursday, someone told me that they were going to start selling gas at Walmart, so I drove there praying I had enough gas to get there. I was the first in line, and they said they would start selling gas first thing in the morning. I parked and prepared to spend the night there. Meanwhile, a man came running up to us and told us he had some cell phone reception if anyone wanted to call someone. I tried to call my husband, but got no answer. I was so worried. Then I called my daughter in Valdosta, GA, and found out that my husband had been rescued from St.Bernard, and was in Lake Charles, LA., and that the man who promised to call her had called and told her where we were and how bad it was. She called my cousin who lived in Jackson, LA, and he was on his way with gas for us. I told her to tell him where I was, at Walmart. A couple of hours later, he pulled up! I have never been so glad to see someone!! He filled my van up, and we followed him to Jackson. It was around 3 in the morning by this time. I fell asleep as soon as we got there. I had only been sleeping about 2 hours when my husband called and said to come pick him up in Lake Charles. I got up, showered and drove straight there. I was so happy to see him and know that he was okay. It was then, that I learned that our house was completely under water, and the entire parish was under water..I was devastated. After staying in Jackson for a week, my aunt in Young Harris, GA., invited us to come stay with her in an empty trailer on her property. It was beautiful up there, and just what we needed..to be in the mountains and get out thoughts and decisions made about the future..We finally got to go visit our home in October, and once again, the devastation floored me. Everything we owned was gone. I sat on the backporch and cried, and was angry at the same time. We went back to GA, and stayed there until February, until my husband got called back to work at the school. We bought a home in Poplarville, MS., because we wanted to be as far away from the wreckage as possible. It has not been easy starting over, and we miss our families and friends who lived who lived in St.Bernard. Most, like us, did not return, and it is difficult to have 35 years of your life taken away. I lost my job, my home, my friends, my family, and most of all, a way of life that I had always known. Many people say, just get on with your life....That would be good, but how do you do that when everything you have ever known is gone in just a day? I will always feel an emptiness inside for the life we had before. But, I thank God for all He has done for us,and is still doing for us.


“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed June 16, 2024, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/42702.