Post by HarahanTim on Aug 21, 2015 10:32:23 GMT -6
On August 29th , obviously, we will be marking the 10th anniversary, of the most widespread, monetarily costly natural disaster, to hit the U.S. Some would like to ignore it all, some still need to talk about it...there is no right or wrong.
In this thread, I thought it would be good to post memories, of one of three time frames.
Before, the watching of the forecast, the models, preparation, evacuation, etc.
During, where you were, what you endured, what you were thinking, whether here, or from a safe place afar, etc.
After, those first days, once again, whether you were here, or if you returned home days or weeks later.
Feel free, of course, to post on any or all of the time frames. I just thought, since some people may be more interested in one time frame or the other, it would be a way to keep thoughts a little categorized, and if you feel like really going into detail, which is fine, it would be broken up into different reads.
Prayers and thoughts continually, for those who lost loved ones during, or indirectly, because of the storm.
Before: I remember being stuck to this forum non stop the week before and telling my hubby of the concern towards the end of the week. He would watch the news and think I was overreacting. I remember calling my sister Friday night while she was at the Saints game. I told her that when they woke up Saturday start preparing...
Our evacuation plan is load up the RV and roll....
Saturday am, my hubby went to work (usps) and I started packing the rv. I pretty much packed the entire house including all pictures and valuables between the RV and tahoe. At this time, our son was about 18 months. I took every piece of memory, clothing, and toy for him... If something major was going to happen, I did not want to loose anything of his. (My mom lost all her baby stuff in Betsy) Around noon, I called my hubby "are you getting off soon?" He said that the supervisors kept saying "what storm?" being sarcastic. I told him if you are not home by 1, you drive the tahoe bc at 1:00 on saturday this girl was taking the RV and leaving with her son and dog. He came home about 30 mins later. We picked up everything outside and tried to take preventative measures for anything inside. What food I could not take in RV, went in the garbage.
At this point, all my family/friends were leaving or at least about to leave. Most family went to Panama City or Houston. We live in Kenner so getting on at Loyola, we just went up to Jackson. Son and I in Tahoe and hubby in dog in RV. My sister and her family with their rv were about 30 mins ahead of us. I remember it taking about 6 hours to get to Jackson. We slept in Walmart parking lot. At this point, I remember not being really concerned or worried. I figured we would waste a lot of gas wondering around the state and we would be home in 4-5 days. We woke up Sunday and decide to go west towards Shreveport. I remember being west of Jackson and listening to WWL. WWL had the Archbishop on saying a prayer. I lost it at that moment. I had to pull over bc I was crying so hard. We stopped and got gas. We had so many families come to us and ask if we were evacuating. All of these families offered their houses and properties. It was really nice of them!
Next stop, Lake Bistineau State Park somewhere off of I20. Nice place... They opened a meeting room and had tvs setup for us to watch the news whenever we wanted.... We live in the same neighborhood with the Kenner fire chief at the time. My husband got in touch with a Kenner fireman friend and asked if he knew how the chief's house was. Was told that the chief had 2-3 feet of water.... I assumed we had the same.... Cried again! After 3 -4 days, we wanted to start getting closer to NOLA just in case we could get back in.... Down interstate, hung out overnight Chico State Park - mosquitos KILLED us. Then I remember Farr Park in Baton Rouge. We made our move. Stayed at Farr Park for 4 weeks or so until Jefferson Parish would let us stay. We came home when they let us to check on everything. I was expecting 2-3 feet of water. Well extremely grateful we are on the levee and we are higher. We lost 8 fence boards, thats it. yes I do feel guilty for admitting that when so many lost so much. In the grand scheme of things, my entire family was lucky. Some houses damaged and flooding but No injuries!
I remember the stagnant smell and really no sounds when we came back. The piles of carpet and sheet rock just kept piling up everywhere....
Last Edit: Aug 21, 2015 14:04:39 GMT -6 by klstiger
A good thread, but to be honest...........I've moved on. I am extremely grateful here for all the folks (and there are many of you) who had a positive impact on my family on that Friday before Katrina with your informative posts. Had it not been for you, I shudder to think how things could have panned out. Having information from you folks on the old WWL forum that no one else really had was literally a lifesaver. For your posts, your information, and recommendation in that horrendous time, I am forever grateful.
Beyond that.........just for me personally..........it's time to move on.
"My name is Jim, but my friends call me...............Jim."
I remember a young man named Zack who said that we needed to pay attention to a system that was approaching Florida. On Thursday night, August 25, I stayed up the night watching at WWL site to see when Hurricane Katrina would start to move north. And it kept going west! Hard to keep up with an old dial up connection.
The next morning I went to work assuming that the storm was headed to Pensacola. At 4 pm, my work completed, I decided to check the latest track/advisory. Good Lord! It had shifted to Mississippi. I secured my computer as we had been taught to do in the event of a tropical system, even though the IT people didn't contact us about it. I left work as a TGIF party was going on. I passed a co-worker and, not wanting to alarm him, told him to please keep up with the weather. He later (months later, when I finally saw him again) thanked me. Went to my Mom's, told her to pack some things, and we left with the dog and one of the cats, We went to our Pearl River county house. If things got worse which it did, I'd go back in town real early get some more things from the house and the 3 other cats. Gassed up in Picayune and then the waiting game started. I wanted to leave- the freakin eye might go over us(which it did ) but my Mom refused to leave.
On Monday came the scariest time of my life; everything was tumbling down outside around us, and for about a five minute period thought we were toast. When it finally ended and we were still alive I was absolutely giddy even though we were trapped around our house. The next morning, a combination of hacking away on my part and a neighbor's chainsaw opened up a path that we could make it to the road,
Then the hell really began...
Last Edit: Aug 21, 2015 19:35:41 GMT -6 by gentizzy
Post by caneobsessor on Aug 21, 2015 19:57:34 GMT -6
Like others, I did not leave this site for more than a few minutes at a time. I was driving my family crazy, because I knew we were going to get hit. I lived in Harahan at the time. I wasn't working, but my husband worked at the Federal Court House in N.O. Because he was security for the judges and buildings, he had to wait for word from the lords that be before he could leave. We caravanned with one of my daughters and her two sons and had my adult granddaughter with us. We went to Tunica, MS (a normal 6 hr. drive that took 12 hrs.) We stayed in a less than 5 star hotel, but with 10 star staff. When we walked in the desk clerk told me they were collecting money to provide a dinner for all the refugees. Another family there offered to cook "the best red beans and rice and catfish" anywhere. Turns out they lived 3 streets over from me in Harahan. The kindnesses of people throughout the ordeal was incredible. When this family went to the store for supplies with the money collected, the manager stopped them when only a few items had been rung up and said they would pick up the rest. The manager of the hotel contacted the casinos in the area and told what they were trying to do and the casino sent over an entire meal for everyone in a warming cabinet. When we left there we went to my nephew's in Carencro, just north of Lafayette. While there I went to the store and noticed after paying my bill that I had not paid for the ice I had under the basket. When I told the cashier, the woman behind me said, "Don't worry, I've got it." It was a little thing, but touched me deeply. We were one of the fortunate families. We were inconvenienced for 3 weeks because we lost power, but all in my family who were employed never lost pay or jobs. No one was physically hurt. My son lost the most, materially, because he was renting in the area of the break in the 17th Street Canal and had about 8 feet of water in his home. They were only able to salvage what they took with them. My husband was one of the first let back into the area, because of his position. He had to pass security check points to get to his job. I remember buying fly paper strips for him to hang up in their work area, because the flies were so bad. Until we left the area last year, he would still shake his head when we drove down Earhart Blvd. and say, "There was five feet of water here." Tragedies bring out the worst and the best in people. We were very fortunate to meet only the best.
Always grateful for the help and advice given by this board!
Post by AUdubon5425 on Aug 23, 2015 7:39:35 GMT -6
What I remember most was the forecasters doubting whether she would even remain intact crossing the Florida peninsula. When she gained strength at landfall and made that WSW turn no one expected I took notice...something in my gut was telling me to pay attention. I was on the WWL forum too, and remember someone stating if she reached a certain longitude before crossing a certain latitude she was not going to Florida. It made sense to me and when that happened I started preparing.
SKYSUMMITPresident | Director of OperationsAdministrator
I remember so much about Katrina. I had to work the restoration of communications once the winds got below 40mph. The first afternoon was on the north shore and then the very next day was in the city and MS Gulf Coast. There's no way I can type down everything I saw or experienced, but one thing stands out more than others. I remember waking up on that morning when the winds were up to 175mph with a bee line track to SELA. My wife, never experiencing a hurricane before started crying and packing up as many memories as we could. Then getting on the road in Houma and hitting Hwy 90...that's when reality set in. We were the only car traveling east. Westbound Hwy 90 was backed up bumper to bumper, and all I can remember myself saying was "this will really happen"...it set in hard.
As for the aftermath, I rather forget about the sights I saw and pray it never happens again. It was the first time I saw dead bodies outside of a funeral home and some of the devastation was so intense, I had no other choice but to just sit right where I was standing and let my feelings pour out. It was a very, very sad time.
LEAD BUYER'S AGENT - BWL Group of Keller Williams, Visit my site at www.guidryrealty.com and like us on FB @bwlgrouprealestateteam
CWOP ID: DW2721, CoCoRaHs Station: LA-TG-11
NWS's Ponchatoula/Hammond Area's COOP Member President | Director of Operations - Gulf Coast Weather
Post by allicat1214 on Aug 23, 2015 18:22:48 GMT -6
I have so many memories -- we all do -- of life AFTER the storm. I was blessed with very little damage living in St. Charles Parish. But I want to share a memory from BEFORE the storm.
I want to just say how very thankful I am to the guys on the WWL Weather forum, the pre-cursor to this forum, who dared to speak up and post what no one else was saying on TV. The Wednesday BEFORE the storm hit.. so it's still in the Atlantic at this point... the guys on this board were saying it was coming into the gulf. My step mother was in the hospital that day, having had a stroke the night before. I literally booked my hotel rooms to evacuate from her hospital room on the laptop the hospital set up in her room. (I am NOT kidding.) She died that night.
The next afternoon, THURSDAY before the storm, we went to the funeral home to make her arrangements. The funeral director said we could have her services on Saturday or Monday. I told my siblings we MUST do it on Saturday because I didn't want to take any chances with that storm coming. They -- and the funeral director -- laughed at me. I insisted and her services were set for Saturday.
My cousins were also there planning their dad's (my uncle's) funeral. His was set for Monday.
While at the wake around 10 am, I got a call on my cell phone saying schools in St. Charles Parish were closed Monday due to an evacuation order. I had to leave the wake to pack up and evacuate not only my family, but my sister who flew in from out of state for the funeral with her two babies! My half-brother stayed and buried his mom. We went home packed and made it to our Baton Rouge hotel rooms by 10 pm that night. My sister got a flight home from the BR airport Tuesday morning.
My cousins had to live with not knowing the whereabouts of their dad's body for weeks.....and imagining the horrors in a flooded city with no air conditioning.
I support these guys because they saved my family a lot of heartache!!
I pray we never have to experience another Katrina in my nor my children's lifetime!
I was a member of the WWLTV weather forum for a while prior to Katrina and am glad that I transitioned to this forum when it began. I am the one in my family that everyone calls to find out what is really going on when a storm develops during Hurricane season so thanks to the WWLTV forum and now this one, I usually have more or better information than they have when listening to the news.
As usual for Katrina, I was on the forum all the time, even before Katrina was Katrina when she couldn't get her act together. I remember this well because August 26th is my birthday, I had taken the day off from work that year. As many of my family members and friends called to wish me Happy Birthday I kept telling them to pay attention to the storm. Many said that "they" said that the storm was not coming here but going to FL. I assured them that the storm had not made the expected turn. We and several family members made reservations in Dallas. My two daughters and most of my family left on Saturday mid-day. They first stopped in Baton Rouge to see if it was really necessary that they go to Dallas. By 6 pm they realized that they needed to proceed to Dallas. My husband, my son, my mother-in-law, two dogs, a bird and I left Saturday night around 10 pm. We had no problem getting out of New Orleans and arrived in Dallas in expected travel time, actually we arrived while the rest of my family who left prior to us were checking in.
I had just purchased a new laptop so I brought it with me and set it up at the hotel so that I could track the storm and get first hand knowledge of what was going on in New Orleans. At first it didn't seem real, if felt like we were just on a vacation. Then things started getting serious as the storm bore down on the city. I had a neighbor who stayed home, we all tried to get him to leave but he would not, he is from Ohio and said he would be fine. I remember after Katrina hit, he called to let us know that all was fine at home, no problems. Sometime later we found out that another neighbor who is a policeman helped him to get out of town after the storm passed but before the flooding began.
When we realized that we would have to be gone longer than the three days we prepared for, we had to change hotels because the hotel we were in was rather expensive and would not give us a break on the rate once finding out the city was flooded. When we checked into the other hotel, I remember the front desk attendant asking me for my address and I broke down, saying that I no longer had an address, and everything was gone. After a few days, we went back to Baton Rouge than Maryland, and came back home about six weeks later. The thing I remember most was looking at the New Orleans at night and all you could see was total darkness. Little by little the lights started coming on, people started coming back and here we are today, still not as we were before the storm, but making progress and forever changed.
Last Edit: Aug 25, 2015 7:09:39 GMT -6 by nolababe
It all started for me when my parents booked a trip to the Grand Canyon. The date they picked was Aug 29th. It was early April when they booked it. But a weird feeling that I can't describe came over me. I told my parents that a hurricane was going to hit around here that date. They looked at me like I was nuts. It was only April, how would I know a hurricane would hit in Aug? When Bob Breck told everyone it was going to Fl. I just knew in my gut he was wrong. And I predicted instead it would make landfall between Grand Isle and Pass Christian. I was working for Dillards at the time. Actually just got hired about a week before. They had us put all the money from the registers into the safe and we had to move merchandise to safer areas. We were the last store in the mall to close. My parents made the decision to leave after she made cat 5 status. 1st time ever evacuating for a storm and I went with them. We always ride storms out at home. My mom even rode out Betsy. We didn't have to go very far. My aunt and uncle took us in at their home in Ville Platte. Far enough west of the storm to be safe. My parents cancelled their trip. Because they didn't feel right going in vacation when several family members were in danger of losing their homes. My other uncle, cousin and grandparents also joined us in Ville Platte. They were living in Long Beach. Right into the bullseye. Luckily all our homes for my family were spared. We had no power for 5 days. But we're very fortunate. But was very sad for all in New Orleans and MS who lost their lives and everything in the storm. I hope we never have another Katrina in our lifetime.
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2015 15:45:10 GMT -6 by cajungal
Post by shelly70461 on Aug 24, 2015 18:54:32 GMT -6
Before: My little sis and I stalked the WWL Forum like it was our job. We went to the Saints game, but I had a real uneasy feeling throughout the first half, so we left and went back to her office on Tulane Ave to check "the sgettis" as we call them. We kept saying we where staying, and went about our life for a little while longer. During: We waited until the last possible minute to evacuate, we had a real convoy with 5 vehicles of family members, 4 dogs, and a bunch of cats. We where the last group of cars that where allowed to cross over the bridge into Florida and we slept at the 2nd rest area in the state. My husband worked at the hospital in Bay St Louis and he kept calling to check on the department (he was on the clean up crew not the ride out crew thankfully) Around midnight he could not reach them, he started calling the computer system company to "ping" the servers. Eventually even they could not get through to them. The next morning we where talking to someone who also slept at the rest area who was from Waveland. They said they where on the phone with a family member when their house fell apart because of the tidal surge. We eventually found a hotel in Lake City Florida that could accommodate us all and pets and spent 3 days there walking around in a daze, my husband frantically trying to reach anybody from the hospital and get news of what was happening at home. We then relocated to my cousin's spare trailer in North Carolina. When my husband reached someone at the hospital he was told to stay away, there was nothing left to clean up at the hospital. Young co-workers would call him and desperately seek advice as to what they should do, he would tell them to stay where they were and look for another job to make ends meet, every phone call would end with him crying. After: The people in NC where so kind to us, they brought us clothes, food, gift cards but after a while it became like a dog and pony show, we where interviewed for tv and news papers, "come and see the Katrina victims" I would mutter under my breath. My cousin's husband said he couldn't be around us anymore because it was like being at a never ending wake. When we finally returned home a month later our house need a new roof, there was no tv, but we where home. It didn't even matter that it took FEMA forever to decide if they would rebuild the hospital or that my husband was getting $218.00 every 2 weeks in unemployment. If it happened again, I don't know if we would return. My husband is now making a lot less than he was, and there are times still that we speculate if we could have built a better life away from here.
Post by mobileweatherwatcher on Aug 25, 2015 0:24:19 GMT -6
Being that I'm from the outskirts of Mobile, I don't have the traumatic tales to tell that you folks from New Orleans and the Mississippi Coast have, but I'll share anyway.
In those days, I was only reading weather message boards. I looked at Storm 2K and Talkweather, but I also was reading the WWL forum, since it was from a TV station in New Orleans. When the forecasts changed that Friday afternoon, obviously, the attitudes towards Katrina changed in a big hurry. For many, myself included, after Ivan and Dennis, it was like "not again!". Saturday was a grocery store trip and watching more forecasts to see what is happening and what would happen next.
I was up at 12:30 or 1:00 Saturday night/Sunday morning watching The Weather Channel when she went from 115 MPH to 145. The next morning, hearing it was 160, you could not help but to have that "oh crap" feeling. I went to church that morning. We have 9AM and 10:30 services with Sunday School going at the same times. I'm in the orchestra. Before the early service, I was looking around the auditorium, and I could definitely feel a nervous tension in the room. I saw a lady who, and her husband, have Louisiana connections. She was just about hysterical. Couldn't blame her. Before the second service, I heard from another orchestra member that the winds were 175 MPH. That didn't help the tension.
After church, I got home and checked the TV and internet for the very latest. It was then when I first read that incredible statement the NWS office in Slidell issued. You talk about a shocking read. Though it wasn't my NWS office issuing that statement, it was still incredible to read. My mother and I helped my grandmother down to our house. We talked very briefly about going to my uncle's apartment in Pensacola. But, considering how strong the house we were in was and also the fact we were on high ground with no areas of water close by, we stayed.
We lost power a little after 6:00 Monday morning. I guess our winds were about 80-90 MPH. House never shook. I spend the day listening to my battery powered radio with headphone, hearing all the reports. The news coming out was awful. West end of Dauphin Island was devastated with record surge flooding in Downtown Mobile. But the reports here was almost basically nothing compared to what I was hearing coming out of Mississippi and New Orleans. About 7:00 that evening, I walked outside to get a good look at all the loose limbs and such all over the yard. Winds were still blowing 25-35 MPH probably. At least the winds made sleeping comfortable that night with the windows open. There was something I saw that really hit me that evening that made me realize the magnitude of the storm's toll. It will be explained at the bottom of this post.
On Tuesday, mother and I checked on my grandmother's house, saw no damage there. No power that day, but my mother had saved some meat we had in the freezer and grilled it. It was good. With no power, it was dark, dark, dark. Some neighborhoods close by got their power restored, but not us. I remember playing with the neighbors across the street, blinking our flashlights at each other. That was an uncomfortable night to sleep. We did have water, but since no power, the water heater was of no use. I didn't care. That cold shower felt. great! We got power back around 9:30 Wednesday morning.
On a footnote, WKRG-TV ran a Ten Years After Katrina special last night. I didn't know about it until 15 minutes before it ended. When I flipped over, they showed an interview they did with a man they found walking the streets hours after landfall. Many of you have probably seen it. The man, Hardy Jackson, told WKRG reporter Jennifer Merlie (probably misspelled her last name) that he was holding on to his wife until she said she could not hold on any longer as their home was ripped apart by the surge. She told him to let her go and take care of the grandkids. They never found her. I remember seeing this interview that Monday night on a little battery powered TV we had. Poor Jennifer could not keep from crying in her report. They showed the two anchors, Mel Showers and Rose Ann Haven (both still with WKRG) after the report aired. Mel said, "we'll have more in a minute". That is when they went to commercial. Tonight, they showed their reactions after that aired. It was the first time I had ever seen this. Mel just stared ahead from the desk, looking like he had no idea what to think. Rose Anne started to leave the desk with her hands covering her face screaming "Oh my God! That is horrible" while she was crying at the same time. I still get chills thinking about the interview.
Mr. Jackson and his family eventually was helped out and relocated to Georgia. Sadly, tragedies continued for Mr. Jackson. On the special that aired last night, they said his daughter died of cancer a few years after the storm. Soon after, Mr. Jackson developed lung cancer. He died in 2013.
To those who went through the worst of the experiences of Katrina, I know this year's anniversary is going to be difficult. I'm sure it's hard every year, but with the news coverage of the 10th anniversary, it's going to likely make it tougher. The memories are possibly going to return and make it very emotional. I pray for peace for all of you as the anniversary of this horrible storm comes this year.
coffeecups: I'm still lurking at the coming weather!
Apr 17, 2017 16:44:08 GMT -6
coffeecups: WOW! My patio was dry when I got home.
Apr 16, 2017 18:22:16 GMT -6
coffeecups: Came home to Harvey from Slidell. Had a little rain here and there. There was no rain in Slidell when I left at 3:30pm. While in NO EAST, I saw where it looked like it was storming around Covington going towards Slidell. Wet but no rain when I got home
Apr 16, 2017 18:21:07 GMT -6
coffeecups: I will eat some strawberries on my cruise in early May---just a few of course, as long as I stay away from my better half.
Apr 13, 2017 20:39:35 GMT -6
SKYSUMMIT: Yea, had a good bit of strawberries. Did NOT go to the fest though.
Apr 12, 2017 19:48:32 GMT -6
coffeecups: Sky, did you enjoy the strawberries?
Apr 12, 2017 18:43:30 GMT -6
SKYSUMMIT: yea, we're in a quiet lull right now
Apr 10, 2017 21:19:12 GMT -6
coffeecups: At least with the tropical forecast we have more to go on than fantasy.
Apr 9, 2017 18:00:26 GMT -6
coffeecups: Unfortunately for me, strawberries are a widower maker!
Apr 8, 2017 11:46:43 GMT -6
SKYSUMMIT: Man it's gonna be a nice weekend! If you're looking for something to do, head over to the Ponchatoula Strawberry Fest!
Apr 5, 2017 21:35:02 GMT -6
coffeecups: Are you getting like me?
Apr 5, 2017 11:08:26 GMT -6
wsmith0306: Can't believe I've never noticed this before. I must be getting old or blind. or both!
Apr 4, 2017 8:06:37 GMT -6
coffeecups: It felt cool this morning. Very nice weather!!!
Apr 4, 2017 7:13:20 GMT -6
coffeecups: Mary protected me again.
Apr 3, 2017 7:18:35 GMT -6
SKYSUMMIT: LOL wsmith....it's just a little chat box
Apr 1, 2017 8:53:27 GMT -6
wsmith0306: What's this "shoutbox" thing all about? I'm at work, so I'm whispering right now. Hope that's allowed :).
Mar 30, 2017 12:38:44 GMT -6
coffeecups: I'm hoping that I don't see any 'rare' rain events here.
Mar 29, 2017 7:39:51 GMT -6
coffeecups: ps I guess the memory of that snow is probably the only winter that I will get.
Mar 25, 2017 7:16:52 GMT -6
coffeecups: Somewhere around 1956 and 1958 it snowed so much that I thought I was in a blizzard. Of course I was only a child then, but the memory of that has NOT been met or surpassed.
Mar 25, 2017 7:15:41 GMT -6