My experiences with Hurricane Katrina are probably like many people. I was a senior in High School in New Orleans when all of a sudden the principal comes on over the intercom to say that we should all watch the news over the next few days due to a possible hurricane. All of us kind of blew it off. We had heard this a thousand times before, and had no reason to expect that this would be any different. We said our goodbyes on Friday and said \"See ya\'ll in a week\" after a few days off because of this \"hurricane\". I did not realize how serious this was until about midnight on Friday when I walked into the living and saw my mom looking at the television in horror. It was Carl Arredondo talking about Katrina. I could see it in his face. This was going to be bad. My mom and I immediately went and put gas in all the cars, along with the rest of the neighborhood. We had been through numerous storms over the years, but this felt different. Everyone just had this look in their eyes. We knew what was coming, but were just hoping that it would not. My mom left early with the rest of the family, but I had to stay behind because my dad was flying back into New Orleans that day and I had to pick him up from the airport. We lived on Bayou St. John, so we had water right in front of our house. That worried me. I locked down the house the best I could, and set out for the airport. I remember turning and looking at the house and remember thinking that this could be the last time I see any of this how it was. It took three hours to get to the airport, and another 3 to Baton Rouge. When the storm hit, I remember seeing all the footage come in of the flooding and devastation of the city and this feeling of numbness came over me. I could not look away. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I was worried about friends and family. I could not have cared less about property, which can all be rebuilt and replaced, but people could not. I first went to Dallas to go to school, but that did not work out. I then went to Fairfax, Virginia and was in school there for two weeks. I heard my school was opening up a temporary school in Houston at night, so I went there and stayed with a friend\'s family for the Fall Semester until my school reopened for the Spring. It was odd going back. The whole first floor was totally gutted, and the gym was unusable except for the higher floors. However, looking back now, I would not change a thing. Katrina and its experiences are something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It changed me like it changed everyone else, for better or for worse.


“[Untitled],” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed June 19, 2024,