This weekend was the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Even though we live more than a thousand miles north of New Orleans, Katrina touched our lives personally – and, technically speaking, forever.
Our own daughter, back from working in Europe for several years, decided to enroll in Tulane for her MBA. We were proud of her for getting admitted. About a week before classes started, she had all her earthly possessions moved into an apartment in New Orleans, near the school.
A young man she knew from San Francisco (which she has always called her home) had a birthday the weekend before school started, so she decided to fly out to be there for his birthday.
THANK YOU to United Airlines !!!! They called their ticketholders and said, “Because of the approaching storm, we will honor your ticket, but only if you can drive to Houston within the next 12 hours.” Well, hurricane coming, a friend’s birthday, a quick small overnight bag packed, and off she went in her little Audi Quattro to Houston.
She would have never made it out of New Orleans in another twelve hours. I can’t imagine what horrors she would have undergone as the government then closed all the roads and trapped people inside the city….Even those who were in cars on roads that were not yet closed by the storm were turned back and prevented from leaving. I was constantly on the radio: WWL, the truckers’ stations, ham radio, listening to every eyewitness report.
I spent my time also making cut-outs of the map of New Orleans, knowing where her apartment was, and updating the flooding reports. (A souvenir of those days):
(1) Daughter was homeless and without any belongings for several months. Her neighboorhood, 16th Ward, I think, had about 8 inches of water flooding the streets – but she was not allowed into her apartment until several months later.
(2) She married the young man out in San Francisco. : )
(Son and daughter looking out from Daughter’s new house in SF): (The IRONY is only the cars are crooked; they keep the people straight – ha ha!)
(3) One more End Result – I am permanently afraid of the power of the “government.” One of our Founding Fathers said: “When the government fears the people, that is freedom. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny.”