My experience with Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans when I was only in the 6th grade. I remember much talk by the adults of what an intense storm we were soon to be facing. My suspicions all became true when my parents awoke me to let me know we were evacuating. We all piled into our car and headed for Houston, Texas. I lived in a hotel for nearly a month in the Houston area. The hotel seemed to be pretty nice at first, but soon turned into a hub of chaos as more evacuees showed up.

The hotel had revised its no pet policy to make evacuating convenient for the masses of displaced individuals. The hotel was always in a cacophony of barking dogs and loud families packed into rooms far too small to accommodate them. I spent my nights sleeping on the couch in our room. I soon contracted a terrible staph infection from somewhere in the hotel.

My family was beginning to become fed up with the conditions of both Houston and the hotel. We also struggled to find decent medical advice for the staph infection I had developed. These were all deciding factors in our trip to Florida.

After staying in Houston for about a month, we soon headed to Seaside, Florida. We stayed there for another month and I was able to attend school and get treatment for the now excruciatingly painful staph infection. I hated to school that I attended, but was given good grades because the teachers were sympathetic to my situation. My father left soon after we arrived to Florida in order to give aid at the District Attorney's office in Gretna, where he is a judge. I spent the remainder of this month getting well and attempting to adjust to life in Florida, because we were unsure when we would be able to return.

After a month, we all made our way home. I was amazed by the state of New Orleans. Streets were covered in inches of sediment and armed guards held positions up and down the streets. New Orleans looked like a war zone and I did everything I could to help my friends who had lost their homes. I assisted many friends who lived in Lakeview by hauling ruined furniture and belongings to the streets. I also spent time cleaning neutral grounds of debris and other forms of charity.

My home luckily only suffered minor damage and we were living in it as soon as power was restored. I still feel the strongest of empathy for those who suffered more than I during Katrina. I am also saddened by the news of Hurricane Sandy because of remember how confusing of an experience it can be. I just hope the new levee system is able to fend off a storm when and if it does arrive.


“My experience with Hurricane Katrina,” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed May 26, 2024,