Our Evacuation

My parents and myself evacuated from Slidell the Sunday before Katrina made landfall. Like everyone else we watched the weather reports and saw the storm getting stronger and heading right for us. By the time we left, so did everybody else. It took several hours to get to Hattiesburg Ms. The traffic from the Gulf coast was heading north and it all converged at Interstate 59 and US Highway 98 which was being held up by a single police officer. I remember people arguing at the Waffle House as everyone tried to find something to eat. We stayed in a motel riding out the storm in Canton Ms. directly in the path of the storm. Food in Canton ran out pretty fast and our family had to leave the motel because the room was rented out from underneath us. Without a place to stay we forced to sneak back into St Tammany Parish before it was open. We had a few cans of food and enough gas to get us home. Once we got at the beginning of our street we had to climb over dozens of downed power lines to get home. We learned that our house was maybe 6 inches above the water and none of the water made it inside though we were forced to change out all the insulation under the house. Then began the days upon days without power. The mad hunt for gasoline for the generator in order to keep the food in the freezer from going bad. The clean up of the 18 trees that fell around the house but missed all the buildings. It seems like the moment everyone became used to the heat of the day, the cold showers and no power, the lights came back on.




“Our Evacuation,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed April 18, 2024, https://hurricanearchive.org/items/show/45933.