Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I remember.

I remember seeing the satellite images of Hurricane Katrina when it
was a Category 5 in the Gulf of Mexico and thinking how beautiful it
was. And how much that frightened me.

I remember thanking God when I couldn't reach my family at home
but instead on my brother's cellphone as they were driving north
through Alexandria.

I remember showing the radar loops from Slidell to my classes the
morning Katrina came ashore, describing how its path would spare
New Orleans the worst but increase the impact on the Mississippi
Gulf Coast.

I remember going to bed that night thinking the only breached levee
was along the Industrial Canal leading into the Lower Ninth Ward.

I remembered that my Dad was among those who rescued people
from the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Betsy in 1965.

I remember my horror at seeing the first pictures of Lake Ponchatrain
pouring through the breach in the 17th Street Canal.

And my growing fear as my all too well-trained brain brought up a
DEM of New Orleans and mapped the flood in my mind.

I remember much more from the days and weeks and months that
followed, the inside of my cousins's flooded Lakeview home, the miles
and miles of desolation, the weight of the moldy sheetrock and
cabinets my brother and I tore out of my parent's home.

I remember.