That bitch. I wish she was never born.
For those who think I’m a horrible, horrible person at this point, don’t fret.
I’m talking about Hurricane Katrina.
It was three years ago, today, that she struck with a wrath that only a woman could embody.
And that’s not an insult to women.
Quite a few of you have asked (in the past) about my Katrina story.
So, in honor of this anniversary (really, why do they call horrible tragedies, anniversaries? Why can’t they call them something else….like…trageversaries…or something), I’m gonna tell you my Katrina story.
Now, keep in mind, my immediate family (me, my daughter and my mother) got off relatively light in comparison to others.
I can’t tell you other people’s stories.
That’s for them to tell.
This is mine.
And mine alone.
A little background.
At that time, I worked for an insurance company. Ironic, huh? Anyway, I worked in the personal lines boat and yacht unit. We handled claims from all over the country, not just Louisiana.
In addition, we lived in a section of New Orleans called Uptown. It’s not as fancy as it sounds. If you think of New Orleans as a big 10 inch deep FULL to the brim bowl…our house was about 2 centimeters from the lip of the bowl.
Back in 1998, my mom moved to New Orleans from Orlando, FL. I had moved there earlier in the year and was living with a friend. My mom decided to put down roots in New Orleans and she thought it would be beneficial to both of us if she purchased a duplex. She would live in one half of the duplex and I would rent the other half from her.
This was pre-light of my life and pre-ex-husband.
This scenario worked out for both of us.
7 years, 1 kid and 1 divorce later, on the Friday before Katrina struck, we found ourselves wiping our foreheads with relief that we had dodged a big one.
Before I left work on that Friday, I had logged on to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and saw that the prediction was that the storm was going to turn and the projected path at that time was Orange Beach/the panhandle of Florida area.
We went about our business like normal. Had a nice Friday night. Yada, yada, yada.
On Saturday morning, I got a phone call from a co-worker asking me what I was going to do.
I was stumped. I said, “What do you mean”? She told me to turn on the weather channel.
So I did. And I promptly dropped the phone.
The projected path put New Orleans right smack dab in the middle of the path.
There was still a chance that the storm would turn. We didn’t panic too bad. Yet….
My mom came downstairs from her house and we talked about our options. We had already needed to run errands, so we decided to continue on with our day with us stopping by the office at some point to check the NHC website.
We went about our errands and ran by the office. We saw that they still had it hitting New Orleans.
We went home and both of us checked our hurricane bags (for those of you not in the know, a lot of people keep a bag packed with important essentials like insurance papers, birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce papers, precious jewelry, etc…packed in an easy to identify bag from basically June to November) and started taking pictures off the walls and putting breakables under pillows, etc….You know, preparing for your house to be pummeled with high winds and lots of rain. I put all of light of my life’s books in garbage bags (some were from when I was a kid). I fed her fish, Freddy, tons and tons of food.
We cooked up as much tilapia from the freezer as we could eat and had a feast before we left.
We had decided to leave that night around 8 pm or so. They had turned on the contra-flow at that point and we figured not as many people would leave at night.
Again, for those not in the know, a contra-flow is when they make a decision to turn I-55 that starts in LA and runs through MS and beyond, into a 4 lane highway all going north. This is to help evacuees get out of the city as fast as possible.
To be continued....
Friday, August 29, 2008
That bitch. I wish she was never born.