11
   

Reliving Katrina

 
 
mismi
 
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:15 am
As I watch Gustav's approach I am plagued with a sick feeling. Remembering Katrina and watching it in much the same way, but without the sickening fear that I feel now. I was ignorant.

I lived on the Gulf Coast as a child. Hurricanes were actually exciting to us. The worst one I lived through was Frederick in 1979. The others we lost a few trees and got out of school for a week. Frederick was a bit worse. We had to walk to my GranGran's (3 milers) and literally cut her out of her house. There were trees down everywhere. Dog River was all the way up to the door stoop - but kindly, never came in. All the years my grandparents had owned the River House as we like to call it, it had never flooded. We lost the piers, lost dozens and dozens of trees...and other than minor damage from a fallen tree and winds - the house stayed safe.

Fast forward to Katrina. 2005. May of that year my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. Testicular cancer - stage 2. He was quite chipper about it actually except that he was 64 years old. The doctors said they rarely saw it in a man that old. But Dad did his chemo and was thin and frail when news of Katrina came to us. I was worried - but mainly because he could not batten down the hatches of the River House. My Gran and Papaw had long since gone and left the house to Daddy and so it was up to him to get it ready. But he could not. My brother is a fireman, he and several of his buddies from work came to the house and put up the storm doors and covered all the windows. The house was ready. I begged Mom and Dad to come up to stay with me...we were a good 3 hours north of Mobile and I felt they would be better off with me. But no, Daddy wanted to be where his things were...where his doctors were. So all I could do was pray.

We actually were not that worried about Hurricane Katrina. We knew there would be damage from storm bands coming through. We were more concerned about what it would do to New Orleans. But as far as the hurricane it self, we had no idea...it was on the west side of Mobile and that is the side that causes lest damage. But as I saw that monster in the Gulf I did have twinges - it covered the entire Gulf of Mexico.

I kept in touch with Mom and Dad by phone. They faired fine. They went and stayed with my brother. for a bit. My brother has a small house with two kids. It was crazy but Daddy said he could handle it for one night. When Bro. went to the River House , he called me crying...it was gutted. Five feet of water filled the house. Apparently Katrina's storm surge had pushed with such great force up Mobile Bay that it pushed it up Dog River as well...the house was about a mile from the bay up river. The water apparently hit the storm doors with such rapid force and pressure that the glass broke and the water rushed in. All the furniture....all Gran's antiques, all our pictures, were ruined...and though it was sad what was worse was the clean -up. The smell of dead animals and the nasty pools of water that were left behind. The humidity and smells were sickening at times as we were cleaning up.

But as bad as we were, we knew that there were others in worse conditions. Bayou LaBatre near us had families that had nothing. Mom would take canned food and carry it down to the Red Cross. In the midst of our devastation - for it was devastation - we would never see the River House again. And I am sad when I think about it. It was my childhood..my Gran Gran and my Papaw's place. The boathouse where I played and the rocks I sat on. Even the huge Cedar that we thought would never fall did.

Mom and Dad did not have flood insurance, never needed it. It had never flooded. So, we had to sell the place because we had no money to fix it. But still in all of this, my Mom and Dad conitinued to look out for those who had no places to sell. Dad and Mom lived in a pop- up camper until apartments became available. that was about 9 weeks. Once they got into the apartment it was easier. They had furniture given. They slowly got the mess cleaned out and we were able to sell the River house for more than it was worth to a neighbor who had been pestering the life out of us ever since Gran and Papaw died. So we were fortunate. So many were not.

The fear I have now is of what can actually happen in the lives of so many in the paths of these monster storms. And also of the unknown. You only think you know you are safe sometimes. You can never be sure.

What were some of your experiences with them and how did you cope?


 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:20 am
@mismi,
No experiences myself, but wanted to say that was an affecting post... I'm so glad that everyone got through it OK but I'm so sorry about the River House.

Is your dad still around? Healthier now, if so? What is your family doing this time?
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:29 am
@sozobe,
Thank you Soz. My Dad is great. 67 and in remission. His pet scans are clear...he still has tumors..but they are benign. We are blessed!

We are praying and thinking of New Orleans right now...the whole Gulf Coast - some who are still trying to recover from Katrina...
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:48 am
I'm about 250 miles from New Orleans, at Ft Polk. We've prepared as well as we can, and I don't have the option of evacuation, since the army hospital I work at is on alert. My wife and cats are staying here with me as well. It's scary, and I hope the worst we get here is a lot of rain and maybe an extended power outage.
The highways just a few miles from me are all contraflowed to go North only now. If I can, I'll keep y'all posted on how it looks from here, but chances are if it gets bad and people start camping out at the hospital like they did during Rita (I hear), I will be living in the hospital for days, with no access to computers.
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:49 am
@snood,
Oh man. Will be thinking of you, snood.

Glad your dad's doing well, mismi.
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 06:51 am
@sozobe,
Thanks again Soz...Snood you and your wife are in my thoughts and prayers.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 07:01 am
@snood,
You'll be in mine as well. Stay safe, snood.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 08:40 am
The first image is a wideview of the approaching storm. You can't see Leesville/Ft Polk in it, but in the 2nd one you can. In the 2nd image, if you look real close at the left center in the tip of the forecasted path, you can see Leesville and Ft Polk right in the path of the approaching eye.

All I can do is wait for a call to go to the hospital, and hope we've prepared well enough here at the house.

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa101/janblount/gustav2.png

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa101/janblount/gustav.png
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 08:51 am
Stay safe, missy. Stay safe, snood.


0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 09:04 am
@snood,
Thinking of you and everyone in the path, Snood.


I don't have any personal experience of such storms...they don't affect my part of Australia.

But I do remember the amazement of waking up on Christmas day in 1974 to find that Darwin (the capital of Australia's Northern Territory) had been obliterated overnight by Tropical Cyclone Tracy.

Just like that...gone.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2398/2211146428_2d4f809b35.jpg?v=0


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclone_Tracy

We simply weren't used to damage on such a scale..probably because the North, especially then, was thinly populated.

Because Darwin was a real hippy centre at the time, and I had just moved into a student household, everyone knew people who had been living there...and everyone I knew, practically, had refugees from Darwin staying with them for a while. We had a couple of delightful fellas who had been travelling around, and were staying up there.

It was awful, but the terrible flooding that accompanied Katrina did not occur, and I think the emergency response was better organized.

0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 10:46 am
We talked with my Sister-in-law, former Louisianan, now in Arkansas which is also water logged and currently in the path of the storm--danger of flooding and tornadoes; no danger from hurricane damage. She still has friends in coastal Louisiana though and they're on their way out--highways clogged and it is slow and go, however.

I have several time had to go to shelter during tornado warnings not knowing if our house would be there when I came out. That was for never for more than a few minutes.

I have never experienced a hurricane, but can imagine the stress of having to leave your home for days, not knowing if the looters would get it, or the wind, or the tornadoes, or the storm surge/flooding. My heart goes out to all of you who are experiencing that kind of stress.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:23 am
Stay safe, mismi and Snood, and everyone else who is in the path of the hurricane.

That was a very moving story, mismi, and I can only imagine how horrible
that experience must have been for you and your family, notably because
the river house has been with your family for generations. The loss of
property is one thing but the loss of all these precious memories is priceless,
especially for your three little boys who will be deprived of making their
own memories down at the river house.

We had in the mid 80's a powerful El NiƱo storm hit the coast of southern
California and the coastal communities (including us) were flooded. We
had no electricity for three days, and the clean-up was very messy, but
nothing compared to being hit by a hurricane.
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:34 am
@CalamityJane,
Thanks Jane...It does make me sad to think that my boys won't know what it's like growing up on the river. But Mom and Dad were safe and I have to be thankful for that. The things we lost (Mom and Dad) were just things. But the clean up - though I have never had to deal with it personally here (came close recently) but it was enough to know I never want to have to - Sorry you had to Jane

I am not in any danger. I do not believe my family in Mobile is this time either...but I am watching with much fear for New Orleans and the surrounding area. Knowing what they are going to be dealing with over the next few weeks is going to take a lot of help from the surrounding areas. A lot of patience and strength...

I am praying that some unforseen thing happens to weaken it. It can happen. Hoping it will.

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:50 am
@mismi,
Strong post there, mismi.

I sure do hope it weakens.

I've been in some high numbered earthquakes, but not at the epicenter point. No place I've lived myself has been seriously damaged (though not far away...). One doesn't know when it's happening, though.
Memories of all the liquids in all the bottles and flasks in my laboratory in a well built building swaying together.. and that wasn't one of the big ones.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 02:45 pm
Wishin' all you folks down there the best of luck with this.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 02:59 pm
@mismi,
Missy... understand how difficult that was for you to relive... am thinking of you and yours too. Love you sweet Dixie girl. x

Snood and Mrs Snood.... and kitty's - wishing with all my heart you remain safe and well. I cannot imagine how it must be for you - I can only sympathise with stories I have been reading and watching the weather reports right now.

The only hurricane wind we have experienced was in '87 when I was living in SW London. It was a massive deal for us at the time - having not experienced the weather systems y'all have there - '87 was a just a breeze compared to what you have and will experience.

Thoughts are with you.... wishing you safe. x



Watching our 10pm Sky News.... it says US Hurricane Centre says it will not increase to Cat4.... looking at all the folk trying to leave now... so scary, so sad.
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 03:00 pm
@snood,
Snood: I have been hanging out on another thread on A2K called "Gustav." I just found this one. Your many friends here wish you and your family the best. Please try to keep us posted. -rjb-
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 05:08 am
It is about 4-6 hours until the full force of it hits New Orleans, then another 5-7 hours until it hits where I am. Just anticipating is the hardest part. I was at the hospital until 9:30 last night. Our commander is going to keep us there for 72 hours after I report this morning. We had to treat about 150 people the day after Katrina, but the worst part was that we had to deal with 15 days without power in the surrounding area and a lot of people who were living in the hospital as a shelter.

People who lived through both Rita and Katrina here are predicting a diverse spectrum of guesses about how bad its going to be this time - from tropical storm winds of about 50-70 mph, to Cat 2-3 Hurricane.

If power and the net hold up at the hospital, I'll continue to post tonight after things get quiet (if they get quiet).
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 05:11 am
@snood,
Good luck to all.
0 Replies
 
mismi
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 05:31 am
@snood,
thinking of you Snood. My brother went in (fireman) on mandatory duty at 7:00pn last night. They are calling his station to Nola after Gustav comes through.

Thinking of all who are in the storms path...praying protection for all.
Hugs to Snood and his wife and kitties. Prayers are with you.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Reliving Katrina
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 06/19/2019 at 12:41:05