August 29, 2015

Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary

Hurricane Katrina 10th Anniversary

Today marks the tenth anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. I was raised in Southeast Louisiana and my parents and brother live in the New Orleans Metropolitan are when Katrina hit but they had sought refuge in South Arkansas with family.

That day 10 years ago I was a senior at Louisiana Tech and could not stop reading or watching anything to do with the storm and the aftermath that would follow. It would take my family a month to be able to move back into their home in Mandeville. A several hundred year old tree had left a hole in the roof but a Southern Baptist chainsaw crew had removed the tree and tarped the hole. The state of the home I grew up in was largely a mystery. My parents found a photo online that was a photo of their street, Marilyn Drive, with trees covering the street. One of my childhood friends, Josh Hayden, and his brother Adam climbed over those trees covering the street down to the house and told us the state of the house.

Luckily for Mandeville, the flooding was not what it was a mere 30 miles south across Lake Ponchartrain.

While much of the damage in Mandeville from Katrina was not avoidable, the flooding on the southshore of Lake Ponchartrain seemingly was. A documentary titled “The Big Uneasy,” addresses the decades of mistakes by the Army Corps of Engineers that led to the flooding nightmare New Orleanians experienced during the days following Katrina.