The 29th of August will always haunt me. I will never forget the “Big Storm” or the years of its aftermath. We didn’t realize that the storm was headed our way. On the Friday before the storm, we were told at school to unplug the computers and pull them from the window in case a storm came our way. I did that, and headed home. The next morning, I took my daughter to ballet. I noticed all the cars lining up at the stations for gas. So, I asked the other mothers what was going on. They told me that the storm had turned, to go get gas immediately. I told them that it was senseless to go sit in those lines. I knew of an old-fashioned gas station on a lonely country road. It would have no traffic. Hardly anyone knew where it was. So, I went and bought a few supplies. I took my daughter, and we headed to that gas station. Sure enough, no one was there. We filled up and headed home. I packed everything of importance and headed to my mother-in-law’s house- across the yard! I knew that the traffic would be so backed up that evacuating would now be impossible. Besides, we had never evacuated. The storms were never as bad as the meteorologists predicted, or so I thought.
When the storm rolled in, it was fierce. You could hear the tornadoes, and then hear the cracking of trees. Branches were thrown against the roof of the house, and we would run into another room. This storm raged for hours without lessening in intensity.
The next day, the storm was still upon us, but we experienced rough weather only when the feeder bands would come. There would be a lull between the bands. We had no electricity (for two weeks after Katrina, and another two weeks after Rita), no cell phone, and no internet. The only means of connection the outside world was the radio.
It was the radio that informed us of the devastation in Mississippi and along the Gulf Coast.