Core Memory :: The Kindergarten Flood (Spring 1990)

Yet Another School Closure

As we face another inclement weather event that has closed many schools in the Greater New Orleans area, I can’t help but think of an experience I had in Kindergarten. It was MANY years ago at this point, so the exact date escapes me, but I very vividly remember cloistering into the cafeteria of Christ the King School (with the rest of the student body and faculty) as we watched the water rise around the school. As it often does in New Orleans, the rain had gotten intense very suddenly, and while we were not at risk of experiencing Katrina level water, it was enough to make the roads impassable. 

This meant that hundreds of students, and all the faculty were stranded, many of us too young to fully understand what was happening. And while this may sound scary, my memory of the experience is one of fun. I can remember it feeling somewhat akin to an indoor campout. I remember being excited to have extra time to play with my friends and being able to watch tv after school (something I wasn’t normally allowed to do on weekdays). 

Super Dad To The Rescue

And finally, I remember my dad, in hip waders, carrying me through the hip deep water to the pirogue. Yes, you read that correctly …. the pirogue. It truly was a sight to see! I pretended I was on a grand ship as my dad pushed me in the pirogue the several blocks it took to get to the car. (He had parked on the neutral ground about ½ a mile from the school). I was having the time of my life! And I attribute a lot of this to my mom and dad. They never appeared panicked. But then again, that is my dad, cool and collected under pressure. 

After what my childhood brain deemed a lifetime, we finally made it to the car. Several HOURS later, we made it home. My mom ran me a hot bath, and I played in the bubbles for what seemed like an eternity. It has remained one of my favorite and most vivid memories to this day. And as schools all over the Greater New Orleans area are closed, I can’t help but wish my kids had an experience like this. Let me note that I fully understand the need to prioritize child, faculty, and parent safety. So, I understand the decision to close for the day. I just also have lived the flip side of staying open, and (at least for me) the memory is a fond one. 

I hope everyone is staying safe on this dreary day! And I hope this brought you a laugh or a smile. 



  1. Emily, my mom was there with you. My favorite flood memory was the May 3rd flood. My mom taught at Gretna Park before moving to CTK. The school I went to put me on my regular bus to her school at 8:00 at night. Everyone had been sent home by then. The plant manager lived across the street. I got to watch tv at his house until my dad could come get me. I was 8 years old.


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