For the next several days, The Rural Patriot will remember the victims, events, and stories from Hurricane Katrina. May those who have perished rest in peace, and may those who have been affected by loss of any sort continue on their healing path.
WARNING: Graphic images are posted below the folds of these Katrina posts.
When The Levee Breaks
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break,
When The Levee Breaks I’ll have no place to stay.
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,
….Don’t it make you feel bad
When you’re tryin’ to find your way home,
You don’t know which way to go? …
(Above photo credit: Object #116, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, 17 November 2005, hurricanearchive.org. The day the levees broke.)
“RUN UP THE ATTIC NOW!!” The water from the levee broke through the front door. The home went from 1/2 an inch of water to 7 Feet. Like that, our home, gone.
(Above photo credit: Glenn Trainor, Object #1876, Hurricane Digital Memory Bank: Preserving the Stories of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, 4 March 2006, hurricanearchive.org. This is my house on 38th St. It had 12′ of water from Hurricane Katrina. I work for the NOFD and was on duty for 15 straight days before going on leave. Hundreds of N.O.Firefighters lost their houses and everything they owned but remained on duty to protect the citizens of New Orleans. Many members used their own personal watercraft to rescue thousands of trapped people and sustained damage to their boats with no reimbursement from the city, state or fed gov. )
Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquesmines parishes are under a mandatory evacuation as gas, sewage, and unknown chemicals and dead critters pollute floodwaters.
Marshall Martin, on roof, passes 3-month-old Christoper Collins to New Orleans Fire and Rescue officer Jonathan Pajeaud while the child’s grandmother, Sheila Martin, waits on a water craft during evacuations in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, following the passage of Hurricane Katrina through the area. (AP Photo/The Palm Beach Post, Gary Coronado)
Huge fire in the lower Garden District area of Uptown . . . big building, thick smoke . . . pillars of smoke rising here and there. Fumes are rising off the water, and the air in this “bowl” is hazy with smoke – sometimes choking. … a mushroom cloud is rising above New Orleans . . . a “stalk” of six or more huge pillars of smoke rising thousands of feet and joining and spreading into a huge mushroom head.
Just because they knew it was coming doesn’t mean they could do anything about it.
I get no particular thrill from looking at dead bodies, but if you want to understand Katrina’s toll, you should at least glance at these pictures.
The aunt was elderly, in poor health. She had told my mother a month or so before the storm that she felt that Armageddon was coming, the end of the world, the world news was so bad, so bad. She told my mother that she wanted to go in her own home, with her little dog in her arms, that she hoped that it all ended quickly. The guardsmen found her in her easy chair, with her little dog in her arms. Her house had flooded to the rafters, a coupla blocks from one of the levee breaches. When I told my mother, my mother cried, heart-rending cried, “She knew! She knew! She knew!”
May all who have perished from this storm and its aftermath rest in peace.
Looting or Finding?
Even after that first tension-filled day, the soldiers didn’t have a full grasp of Katrina’s wrath. Like so many others in the city, they had lost all contact with the outside world. The only sounds they could hear as the storm quieted and night fell were people screaming and animals howling.
… The darkness that blanketed the city brought a small blessing: stars. Never had they been more visible and beautiful.
“Sitting on the steps, it was an amateur astronomer’s dream,” Venable recalled. “But you were sitting there listening to people hollering and screaming and crying. You just had a sense of helplessness.”
Goodbye New Orleans
I’ll see you again on the other side of this nightmare
(Tomorrow: the nightmare continues…)