Hurricane Katrina

By Noor A., Age 18

It was that time of year again: evacuate for a hurricane knowing that you would still come home to a perfect life…I wish. Every year when it is time to evacuate, no one in my family took it seriously. This was the case for Hurricane Katrina. I remember my mother sitting in our living room saying, "Oh we’ll be fine, it’s just another hurricane." I also, was in denial about the hurricane. Friday night was a regular night. I went to a football game and to get coffee with my friends. Saturday was the day most people began to evacuate; however, my family and I decided to wait until Sunday. We figured the storm would decrease to a category two or three, yeah, so much for that. The storm was expected to be a five. So, Sunday morning I was on my way to Houston, Texas pretty much like the rest of New Orleans. I brought about four pairs of clothes with me, thinking I would be home in no time. Well, things happened a little differently than I expected. August 29, 2005, the day Katrina destroyed New Orleans. Waiting for updates on CNN was the hardest part. I was so anxious to know everything that had happened and I had no patience at all. All of the devastation on the news depressed me, and I just felt like I needed to be home, helping those who decided to ride the storm. All day and night I would sit by the t.v. and try to find out as much as I could about the conditions of New Orleans. I wanted to know how much school handled the storm; I wanted to know if I still had a house. The suspicion was slowly eating me away. Time had passed and the news was out: New Orleans residents were asked to stay out of the city for one month. One…entire…month. This seemed longer than a year to me. I had to attend school in Houston and forced myself to try to pay attention. However, it wasn’t long before my school made an announcement saying that it would re-open by October 3rd. When I returned to New Orleans, I felt like I was coming home to a war site. Trees were on the streets, power lines were down, and road signs had completely rotated and were upside down. I vividly remember the city being patrolled by military men who were directing traffic and also guarding off restricted areas which had suffered a lot of damage. My home had flooded, and everything in my room had pretty much been overtaken by mold. My house was a complete mess. Three months have passed, and workers are currently fixing my house. Gutting the walls, replacing carpet, and repairing damaged utilities has taken quite the time. I am still waiting to move back into my room, but I always think it could have been worse. After the storm I realized that I should not take anything for granted. The smallest things in life hold the most significance. So if I learned one thing from this storm, it is to thank God for everything that I have…oh, and to actually take the next hurricane seriously.