09 February 2006

Revisiting that Week from Hell

The long road out of Mordor is a gripping personal narrative

Every now and then I like to revisit the past to put things into perspective. These days most of us are caught up with cleaning, rebuilding and fighting the political fight but as the months have passed since Katrina details of what happened seem to fade away. Revisiting that first week is usually puts those details back into memory. While the typical AP or local news story is a good way to remember, they are typically bland, impersonal, and lacking in detail. I find the best way to understand what happened is to read a first person narrative. Whether it’s history, war, or a disaster tragedy like Hurricane Katrina, nothing will give you a better idea of what really happened than an eye witness account written in the first person.

A great narrative that I found today on NOLA.com is from a woman named D Rose who lived in the Treme area during the storm:

The long road out of Mordor

D Rose of New Orleans writes:

Tuesday, August 29, 2005
(transcribed from crumpled pieces of paper written by candle light)

Last night we were perpared for the worst. We watched every news channel and emailed and called everyone.

The wind started howling at 2AM. I never went to sleep. I couldn't even drink a glass of wine. I thought I had to be on top of my game for whatever came at us.

By 5AM, Kevin was doing his Lt. Dan impression and yelling out the window, "You call this a storm?" I laughed and told him not to make the hurricane gods mad.

At around 5:30, Kevin called me to a bathroom window, for (oh joy) the crack heads were already looting the pharmacy on the corner of Esplanade and N. Villere. They were carrying loads of chips and crackers it appeared in plastic tubs.

Then all hell broke loose. The wind was so loud. If you ever saw the movie Twister- the noise was the same deafening tornado sounds with the occassional booms. The house started shaking and the second floor was swaying. I was getting dizzy. If it wasn't so life or death, it would have made a fun ride at Six Flags. All I could think about was that the house was going to crumble into a a pile of thousands of pieces of rubble and we would be stuck under all the muck, half alive and no one to help us.

...Read the rest of Rose's experience on NOLA.com


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