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Thirteen years ago, I watched in horror and sadness as the waters rose around us and did not stop. It was by far the most devastating and traumatic experience I had ever been through, and I had never felt...
Moving to New Orleans in July of 2005 was going to be the biggest adventure yet for me and my new husband. We had just settled into our new house on Palmer Street, only blocks from where my husband...
{How to help Hurricane Harvey Victims} {What It's Like to Be a Hurricane Survivor} From NOLA to Houston, With Love We're just a few days shy of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and our TVs and social media feeds are again full...
The first time I came to New Orleans, I was a high school senior considering Tulane University. After spending an afternoon in the French Quarter, before I had even set foot on Tulane’s campus, I knew I was going...
“Oh, I’m sure we will just evacuate for a few days for nothing.” This was the gist of what family and friends were saying the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. See, before Katrina, hurricane evacuations were sometimes dubbed...
My family has lived in New Orleans for generations. I remember them talking about Betsy all the time, “I didn’t evacuate for Betsy” and “I survived Betsy” blah blah blah. But this storm coming, this storm was different. It...
I wandered around the streets looking for an internet café. It was 2005, well before smart phones gave us the ability to walk around with information at our fingertips. And, of course, this was the week my laptop had...

Song of Songs: Katrina

I've written about my connection to music before. Though I was graced with zero musical talent, it makes me whole. Grounds me when I'm anxious, makes me happy when I'm sad, and during those times when I just need...
On Sunday, August 28th, 2005, instead of celebrating my husband's 30th birthday with our friends and family at a surprise luau, we spent the majority of our day cramped in our truck filled to the brim with photo albums...
Nine years ago, people across our country asked whether or not New Orleans should be saved. They asked why we couldn't all just move a little further up river? Why we couldn't all just start over in another town?...

My Katrina Days

{see also :: New Orleans is Sending Houston LOVE} My Katrina Days :: An Anniversary Reflection We decided to stay. We had just evacuated for the previous storm, spent hours in traffic, and came home to a few leaves on the...
I’d never lived anywhere with spirit. Growing up an Air Force brat, most of the places I’d called “home” consisted of people whose actual homes were in different states or even different countries. We were all transplants; our housing was temporary....
In August 2005 I was an 18-year-old college sophomore who had just decided to move back to New Orleans. A few days before the storm I evacuated with friends and family, as we had done so many times before....
There are details that are so incredibly vivid nine years later, and there are those that have faded with time. But at the end of the day, those details don't matter, it's the lessons I learned in the aftermath...