One of our readers asked if we could post some stories from the local Louisiana press. He posted one story that he felt was of significance here.
Donnie From Houma, LA has posted his thoughts and feelings about Katrina and the aftermath in the comments of this thread: American’s Want Answers to the Failures to Respond to Disaster in New Orleans. They are significant, in my opinion, because Donnie tells me in our conversation in the thread that he is a registered Republican. At a time when we need to all reach across partisan lines and so many are feeling that the world is spinning out of control, I thank Donnie From Houma, LA, for joining in the conversation at The Democratic Daily.
Bay St. Louis. Ms. – I had planned to ride out Hurricane Katrina in a schoolhouse-turned shelter about seven miles north of Pass Christian. When, on the day before landfall, police advised that the building – DeLisle Elementary – was no longer on the list of approved shelters, I cast about for an alternative base of operations.
Not unlike the little pigs of fairy-tale fame fleeing the I’ll-blow-your-house-down wolf, I join family members – including my mother, retreating from her home in Bay St. Louis, and a sister with her three children from Diamondhead – at the house built by my brother, Thyrone, with invaluable help from an uncle. The house, barley north of Interstate 10, is a solid, spacious, one-story structure, and my brother, like our late father, is a man of action during and after natural disasters.
The lens opens here on the personal, week-long journey of a Times-Picayune reporter struggling with other coastal Mississippi residents in Katrina’s whirlpool of misery.
Monday, August 29
At 10 a.m., the hurricane is advancing at about 16 miles per hour through an area roughly 35 miles northeast of New Orleans between Slidell and Bay St. Louis. Its category-three, 125-mile-per-hour sustained winds reach 125 miles outward from the eye.
At my brother’s home, pine trees bow to the ferocious winds until the trees snap like twigs in a child’s hand. One breaks several feet from its base, then another, then dozens, like popcorn beginning to pop on a kitchen stove. Some of us watch from a glass door in my brother’s bedroom and find ourselves trying to predict which colossal tree will topple next
We wait for the tree that will smash the house — and us.
During the most forceful winds, my brother orders everyone into the hallway.
In the end, the house is spared a direct hit.