Post by caneobsessor on Aug 29, 2015 10:42:50 GMT -6
I've told this story before. My oldest brother lives in Denver, but comes to Louisiana every March for his wife's family's LLC meeting and we take advantage and have a family reunion for our side of the family. The March after Katrina, my two brothers, sister, sister-in-law and I took a ride down to Plaquemines Parish to survey the damages. The younger of my brothers had lived most of his life in Plaquemines Parish, but moved to Ponchatoula after losing everything he had to both Betsy and Camille. He still, however, had a business that took him into the parish. If he had not been with us, I would not have known where we were. He would say, "Remember such and such, it was here." or "This is where we used to ..." We walked up on one of the back levees and our mouths' dropped open, as we could see both the river and the Gulf at the same time. There was no land. We saw things in trees (even after 6+ months) that were never meant to be in trees. Houses were cracked open like eggs spilling their yolks of furniture, clothing, and remnants of what was once a family. The home my mother and father were so proud to have built after 34 years of marriage was in a neighbor's yard across the street. It was the only time in my life I was glad my parents were no longer living. They would not have survived Katrina.
My nephew was living in Port Sulphur at the time of Katrina. He evacuated to my sister's home in Gonzales. He was still with her when Rita made her appearance. He told my sister, "You know, I could probably go home and move my house back on its foundation, because it must be floating, again." Many of us survive by using humor to cope. Though there was nothing humorous about Katrina, herself, I saw several incidences where people interjected humor into the situation. One thing that often comes to mind is a business on Poydras that had a line painted on the side of the building marking the height of the water (even though the physical signs were still there.) They had written by it, "We've had it up to here with FEMA."
I had so much trouble getting through to FEMA, that I used to tell people I had called the number enough times that I could say, "You have reached the Federal Emergency Management Agency...in Spanish."
I'm grateful we will not be telling similar stories about "Erika" in ten years.
Before: I was living in Thibodaux with my parents at the time, working in Kenner near the airport, and spent every weekend in Moss Point, MS for skydiving. That Friday, when I was leaving work and heading to the dropzone for the weekend, I got a call from my mom about a storm that was forming near the tip of florida. I hadn't heard anything about it prior to that so I didn't pay much mind to it. Even then I stayed on top of tropical weather more than the average person, or so I thought. I guess I was too busy at work to keep up online that day, and had no idea about this group at the time. So I left Kenner and drove out to the dropzone in Moss Point. Saturday morning I woke up and got maybe two jumps in before my mom called again around 10:30-11:00 AM. She said that they were planning to open contra flow in New Orleans at noon. Right then I knew I had to leave immediately if I was going to make it back to Thibodaux. I packed up all my gear, got in the car and barely made it back through New Orleans, then weaved through the surface streets of Metairie and made it to airline before contra-flow started. I managed to get back in time to help my dad with buttoning up the house and taking a few trips for sandbags.
During: At the time, I was mainly watching the storm's movement via the wisc.edu satellite feed, at least as long as I had internet. Once that went down it was just listen to the radio and wait. It really wasn't too bad in Thibodaux. My dad and I spent a good bit of time on the front porch. We would hear the wind kick up a bit in the trees at the end of the street, and we would move back toward the house a bit. But overall it never got too crazy where we were. What we were hearing on the radio on the other hand had us horrified. I had numerous friends from skydiving that lived throughout the New Orleans area, one friend lived in Chalmette and we were occasionally getting calls from her boyfriend who had went home to Tennessee for the storm. He told us that the water had filled the house and they were going up into their attic, we didn't even know what to think at the time. We didn't hear from her again for a couple of days and we feared the worst. In the end they were rescued from their roof like to many others. We found out later that a couple of other friends lived in Lakeview about 2 blocks from the breach. We didn't personally lose anything, but many of my close friends lost a lot.
After: The biggest issue for our family in Thibodaux area, was the loss of utilities, I honestly can't remember how long it took to get power back. We had some minor damage to the house from random flying things, but other than that we came out fairly well. Since I was working for a company based in Harahan, out of a warehouse in Kenner, all of my contacts had 504 area code numbers, so I had no way of getting in touch with my boss or anyone else from the company. We didn't get internet back at the house for about a month, but I was able to finally get online at contact my boss about 2 weeks after at my mom's office. She works for a state agency so they were quicker to get connected again. Turned out the company had temporarily relocated to Austin and he said I was welcome to come out to join them, which I didn't do. I spent a little time helping with cleanup efforts in New Orleans. From that point I knew I would never underestimate a storm again.
I have to say, this site has been so helpful to me. I've always been a bit of a weather geek, knowing more of what was going on that the people around me and was the go to person in my circles. But that was mainly just my techie data gathering skills at work. I have learned so much in the past year of lurking on here, and I have to say thank you to everyone that puts so much time and effort into keeping people informed with good information and constructive dialog about what is going on.
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