Wednesday, August 26, 2009
With the up and coming anniversary of The Storm aka Hurricane Katrina I decided to put down my experience. For several months even several years after The Storm one question people asked or were asked a lot in this part of the south, "where were you doing The Storm.” Most of the people I ran into evacuated but there were many who could not and did not evacuate. They have their stories and I have heard many, but this is not about their story this is about mine. Granted it might not be as “good” as others but I did live through it and ate the MRE’s to prove it.
Friday August 26, 2009 a group of us went over to my BIL house to have dinner and play poker. My (then) future SIL had two of her friends in town from Japan and it was their last night in the USA. The night was going really well, except for the fact that my 13 year old nephew was beating everyone. And we weren’t letting him win. B Hubby’s cousin got a text from a friend wanting to know if he knew anything about the hurricane in the Gulf. So we put on the news and for the first time saw that there was a “potentially deadly” hurricane out in the gulf. None of us had even heard of Katrina before that moment. Little did we know that by the time we woke up the next morning she would have turned into a Cat 3 Storm. Which means Sustained winds of 111-130mph and a possible storm surge of 9-12ft
Tropical cyclones of Category 3 and higher are described as major hurricanes in the Atlantic or Eastern Pacific basins. These storms can cause some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings, particularly those of wood frame or manufactured materials with minor curtainwall failures. Buildings that lack a solid foundation, such as mobile homes, are usually destroyed, and gable-end roofs are peeled off. Manufactured homes usually sustain severe and irreparable damage. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures, while larger structures are struck by floating debris. Additionally, terrain may be flooded well inland.
jacked from here.
I got up Saturday morning and went to work not knowing what Katrina was going to do or what we (Tay was not born yet) were going to do. (stay or pack up and evacuate)
*Sidebar*-Hubby grew up one house from Lake Pontchartrain so he was use to packing up, moving stuff to higher ground (including the cars) and evacuation. I however, grew up just 20 minutes inland and had NEVER had to do ANY of this! *
At the time I worked as a manager for national retail clothing store. They knew even less about what we should do. So, we start to notice that people are lining up across the street to get gas and everyone is heading out of town. We are getting calls from kids that are not coming into work because they are evacuating with the families. I get a phone call from my Hubby saying that he has been watching the news and they are calling for voluntary evacuation of our area and a Mandatory evacuation of area south of I-12. That would be us. It is serious. So we formulate a plan at work to close @ 2:00pm and keep the store closed until further notice or until at least Tuesday August 30, after The Storm has passed. Wednesday at the latest. We go on about out business and start preparing the store incase the power goes out or if we get any water in the store. We left around 1pm so we could all get home pack our $h!t and get the hell out of town. By the time I got home Hubby had packed up the car including pictures, paintings off the walls, and had started putting stuff on top of the beds and on high shelves. I was a little freaked out. We decided to evacuate to my parents house 25 miles inland. A trip that usually takes us 1/2 an hour at the longest took over 3.5 hours that day. I really could not complain because I knew people that sat in traffic for upwards of 10 hours trying to get anywhere. We get to "Mayberry" and unpack our stuff and settle in for the next couple of days. Over night Katrina had doubled in size and Sunday morning we woke up to a Cat5. Sustained winds 131-155mph and a possible storm surge 13-18ft.
Category 5 is the highest category a tropical cyclone can obtain in the Saffir-Simpson scale. These storms cause complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings, and some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Collapse of many wide-span roofs and walls, especially those with no interior supports, is common. Very heavy and irreparable damage to many wood frame structures and total destruction to mobile/manufactured homes is prevalent. Only a few types of structures are capable of surviving intact, and only if located at least three to five miles (four to eight km) inland. They include office, condominium and apartment buildings and hotels that are of solid concrete or steel frame construction, public multi-story concrete parking garages, and residences that are made of either reinforced brick or concrete/cement block and have hipped roofs with slopes of no less than 35 degrees from horizontal and no overhangs of any kind, and if the windows are either made of hurricane resistant safety glass or covered with shutters.
The storm's flooding causes major damage to the lower floors of all structures near the shoreline, and many coastal structures can be completely flattened or washed away by the storm surge. Storm surge damage can occur up to four city blocks inland, with flooding, depending on terrain, reaching six to seven blocks inland. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required if the hurricane threatens populated areas.
jacked from here.
To be continued.....
Oh did I mention we live a half a block from Lake Ponchartrain?
Thanks for caring,