My Katrina Experience

By Lauren W.

While evacuating for Hurricane Katrina we thought it would be just like any other evacuation we had had in New Orleans. We’d be back in two or three days. However, when I first heard about Hurricane Katrina I didn’t pay much attention to it. On Friday August 26, my grandma picked me up from school just like any other day. When we got home we had been watching the news and it wasn’t anything good. Hurricane Katrina was already a category 5 and was heading straight for New Orleans. To prepare our house we boarded up the windows and picked up everything on the porch. My mom had made hotel reservations in Lafayette and Beaumont. We left at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning and headed for Lafayette. My parents decided not to go as far as Beaumont. It only took us two hours to get to Lafayette. We got to our hotel at 7:30 am and had to wait all day for them to clean our room. It was about Tuesday afternoon after Katrina hit and the news was horrible. The newscasters were showing pictures of New Orleans on television. I couldn’t believe what had happened to my hometown, New Orleans. I kept thinking it was a bad dream and waiting to wake up and it seems like it never will. When I heard that the levees broke and the roof over the Superdome didn’t hold through I couldn’t even comprehend the damage. My grandparents had stayed home for the storm but luckily were okay. I can’t imagine how they lived for a month without electricity, but they did. My mom found me a school to go to in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. One day when we went to the school to pick up my uniforms the school counselor gave us the phone number of a family who was interested in helping someone. We were the lucky ones. When we went to their house they showed us their pool house and said we could live with them as long as we needed to. Returning home was so exciting for me because I wanted to just lie in my own bed and be in my house after a whole month of not being home. Our house was okay with the exception of roof damage and a telephone pole on the back of our house. The next day my family started cleaning up our house. I started a school on October 3 back home in New Orleans. I hope to be back at my regular school as soon as possible. This is a time of my life that I will never forget!