How I Remember Hurricane Katrina
By: William Ford Thesis: How Hurricane Katrina changed my life.
On Saturday August 27th 2005, my wife and I had a lot of things on our minds. I was home from an eight hour overtime outcall, at my new job with Cable One in Long Beach, MS. Having only been there five days and also in the middle of packing to move from Bay St. Louis, MS over to Long Beach, only a little over six miles away, the stress level at home was very high. We learned that a giant storm may be headed right for us; it was on track for the eye to pass right on, or near where we lived. We had been through Tropical Storm Allison’s torrential rainfall and high winds, but nothing as monstrous as this. The move came to a dead stand still, we had to change our plans and act fast. Everyone has their own story and this is mine, the story of Hurricane Katrina, and how it changed my life. Life can change in the blink of an eye, and we learned this lesson rather quickly. We had been so focused on moving to our new home that the news of the approaching storm seemed of little or no importance. Everyone there seemed very at ease, most talked about going through Hurricane Camille, and how this storm would likely move closer to Texas and we had nothing to worry about. We stopped from packing for an hour or so, and decided to go out for a bite of lunch at a nearby restaurant. That was the moment that made everything seem surreal, people were frantically packing into stores in droves. Long lines everywhere and traffic was congested with people getting on highway 90 and heading out of town. After we ate a sense of urgency filled us, with what do we do now? We made our way to Wal-Mart, and spent several hours gathering food, flashlights, candles, bottled water, batteries and wood to cover our windows at home. Also we stopped at a locally designated place to get sandbags to stop water from coming in if floodwaters got that high. We got home and put our feeble plan to work, I started boarding up windows, while my wife began packing sentimental and a few irreplaceable items in water tight containers. Everything we owned was now in two separate houses, so we scrambled to secure our second residence as well. Once everything was boarded and secured we made our way back to our initial place of residence. It was around midnight, we were tired and decided to check the local news to see what path the hurricane was headed. As we watched the local news, immense panic set in, the storm was still on direct course for the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Eastern Louisiana. It had grown vastly in size and strength to a category four hurricane, and forecasters were calling it “The Perfect Storm”. It was at that moment we felt so helpless and doomed; we were making the wrong call by staying. We had a three year son at the time and my wife was pregnant with our second child. I felt angry for not thinking this through, we needed to leave but in all honesty going north was not much of an option, as the highways were packed and it was taking people eight to ten hours to get about one hundred and fifty miles. My wife began to cry uncontrollably and asked what we should do. I knew we had to leave, just where to go was the uncertain part. I stepped out on my balcony to collect my thoughts and the wind was picking up very fast, evilness was in the air, I could feel it. My neighbor was heading down the steps out front of our apartment, he stopped and asked if everything was ok, I explained that we were afraid and had no plan of what to do. He told me his father lived in Houston, TX and that we were welcome to go with him if we wanted. I was shocked, a person I hardly knew was offering us a safe have to ride out the storm, someplace safe and in little or no danger from the storm itself. I told my wife and whether it was the emotion of the moment or the hormones of her pregnancy she said yes. We packed our car...
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