Hurricane Katrina Was Another Opportunity To Trust God

Hurricane Katrina Was Another Opportunity to Trust God

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all you ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 

Our backyard after Katrina

Below are some of my journal entries during Hurricane Katrina. We lived on the North Shore of New Orleans, just one mile from Lake Pontchartrain. We were truly blessed.  It was still an extremely emotional and difficult time. We lost an unbelievable amount of neighbors because they had lost their jobs.  Most of them worked in New Orleans. The good news is that we gained such great new friends after Katrina. Most of them were from Chalmette, LA which was completely devastated by Katrina. Chalmette was completely flooded when the levee broke.  Almost every house was under water.  God sent us new friends to Mandeville. We love you all very much!  God Bless You All!    Diane

 Saturday, August 27, 2005

 Saturday morning we all got up very early and started moving all the pool furniture to the garage.  We were of course, preparing for Hurricane Katrina.  The news was encouraging everyone to prepare for a direct hit.  We had planned a birthday party at 10:00a.m. for Casey and Caleb.  We were concerned if anyone would show up.  On our way to the gym where the boy’s party was going to be, we noticed people were everywhere.  The lines were at least 20 cars deep at every gas pump in the city.  The grocery stores and the banks were extremely busy also.  Most people on the North Shore were preparing to leave.  We were surprised that everyone made it to the birthday party.  The boys had a great time.  After the party, we made several trips to get sand bags.  We put a sand bag wall across the back of our house.  We also boarded up the house.  By Saturday afternoon, St. Tammany Parish ordered a mandatory evacuation.  We made plans to leave at 5:00a.m. on Sunday morning August 28, 2005. 

 Sunday, August 28, 2005

Downtown Mandeville after Katrina

 We could not sleep.  I woke up at 2:00a.m. and started watching the latest hurricane reports.  The hurricane at this time was a category 5.  It was headed right toward us.  We left our house at 4:30a.m. to meet some friends who we were evacuating with.  We took the back roads all the way to our hotel which was 4 hours North/West of Mandeville.  It was far enough west we should be safe there.  We went to our friends’ parent’s house until we could check into the hotel.  We ate lunch and sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BOYS.  After all today was their actual birthday.  I was so glad we were able to have a party on Saturday morning.  Everything has been truly crazy since after the party. 

 Monday, August 29, 2005 

 Hurricane Katrina Hit the New Orleans Area. 

 The eye went right over the Slidell area.  Katrina was a category 4 when it made land fall.  The initial news was good for the New Orleans area and for Mandeville/Covington area.  Everyone thought they were spared because the storm did not hit them directly.  We found out quickly that it could not have been worse for New Orleans.  The pumps broke around 9:00a.m. which was less than 2 hours after the storm hit.   The pumps keep the water from flooding New Orleans.  New Orleans was quickly filling up with water.  The fear that New Orleans was turning into a bowl of water was happening quickly.  We were glued to the news trying to find out if Lake Pontchartrain was over flowing on the North Shore.  We live less than one mile from the Lake.  We continued to watch the local news on the internet. 

 Tuesday, August 30, 2005

 The levee broke in New Orleans.  The city was 85% under water and the water was still pouring into New Orleans.  We still had no news about Mandeville or our house. 

 Wednesday, August 31, 2005 

Our backyard after Katrina

Jerry went back to Mandeville.  He was stopped to make sure his license had a Mandeville address on it.  Apparently, looting was a big issue.  The looting was unbelievable in New Orleans.  People had no food or water and were stealing to get anything they could.  When Jerry arrived at our house, he found 5 trees down.  None of the trees hit our house.  One tree fell from our neighbors’ house across the street all the way up our drive way just missing our house.  Jerry cleaned our refrigerator and freezer out.  He also packed everyone more clothes (except for himself that is a whole other story).  He helped as many people as he could and took lots of pictures of other people’s houses to e-mail our neighbors and co-workers. Other people were not as lucky as we were.  We had no water damage in the area but trees were laying in a lot of houses.  Of course, there was no power, no phone, no cell phone coverage etc.   Schools were closed for at least a month.  Although we did not get any water damage, our neighbors behind us were flooded and down town Mandeville was flooded up to the top of the first story. 

 Thursday, September 1, 2005

 We left our hotel and headed for Gainesboro to see grandma and grandpa and to leave our dogs for a while.  It was an 800 mile trip.  We had planned to spend the night in Birmingham.  We arrive their around 11:30p.m.  The hotel said that they were over booked.  They gave our room away.  Luckily, Jerry had a lot of pull with Holiday Inns and somehow with God’s help of course, they came up with a room.  I forgot to say that our vehicle was sitting on empty.  We had been trying to get gas since we reached a half of a tank.  The lines to get gas were incredible.  They were so long that they were backed up on the interstate in line for gas.  It was like this on every exit on the interstate.  We left TN on Labor Day and drove to Tyler, TX.  Jerry worked the week in that area. 

 We were truly one of the lucky ones.  We were one of the first to get power back on.  We got power back on September 15th.  We went home on Friday, September 16th

Carly started back to school on September 26th.  The boys started back on October 3rd.

Everyday life in Mandeville was much more difficult. 

100,000 more people were in the area…  When the grocery stores finally were cleaned up and opened, there was no food (at least no choices).  Whole milk or whole milk, white bread or white bread if you were able to get to the store early enough in the morning.   Two months after the storm this was still the case.  Traffic was at a standstill everyday everywhere.  Before the storm it took me 15 min. to take Carly to school and 15 min to come home.  After the storm, it was 1 ½ hour trip two times a day. 

A lot of the people in Mandeville were had to move.  They worked in New Orleans and had either lost their job or their job was being transferred to another city. 

 Our biggest concern was that Children’s hospital was not opened.  Caleb’s neurosurgeons were not doing surgery anywhere.  They said that at this point they did not have privileges anywhere else.  Children’s hospital finally opened up the middle of Oct.

Categories: Encouraging Stories.

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