August 2005 like thousands of other families on the Gulf Coast we were going
about our everyday lives at school, work and our daily activities.
Little did we know as we went off to work and school on
August 26, 2005 that it would be the last "normal day" of the life we knew.
morning the word was not good. The storm did not turn to the northeast
as was expected and was bearing down on the New Orleans area.
time to baton down the hatches and pack for a three
day road trip (the usual drill to board up the windows, secure the yard and
house and take whatever irreplaceable records and items we could fit in the
trunk of our car).
August 29, 2005 at 6:30 a.m. we left on what we thought would be a three day
road trip not knowing we would never live in our home again.
On the road, we made our
way east landing at the first vacant hotel we could find in Tallahassee,
Florida. There we waited with the hotel full of evacuees like us for
the storm to make it's arrival. Having trouble sleeping we followed
though my laptop TV and radio broadcasts from home in New Orleans.
Monday morning the
news was again not good. It was a nearly direct hit to the New Orleans area and
flooding of most of the area including all 27,000 homes in our community
with 67,000 inhabitants rendered homeless overnight. Also, to add insult to
injury our community was
affected as a result of the storm by the largest urban oil spill in U.S.
Tuesday as media
reports began to show the aftermath the realization of the magnitude of the
damage. (aftermath in Chalmette
reality had settled in and with no habitable home to go back to we sought
back in the familiar turf of Northern Virginia
where we had family and had lived for 11 years.
It took over a month until we were able to return to survey the damage
to our home and community on September 29, 2005.
The reality of the magnitude of the situation left us with difficult
decisions to make. With the realization that our
neighborhood and community was facing years of rebuilding we made the
painful choice to rebuild our life in Northern Virginia. But our heart
and soul remains in New Orleans. Hopefully someday we will return.
A Washington Post
Letter to the Editor
I penned captures the feeling of many of citizens of the Gulf Coast in the
aftermath of the storm. We developed this site to provide a place
online that could bring us back home to the things we love about New
Katrina bears down on the Gulf Coast August 29, 2005
Our Home Before
Chalmette, Louisiana in St. Bernard Parish just five miles from
the center of downtown New Orleans
Our house on the day of my return September 29, 2005
Remnants of 50 years of the life of
the Chase family in Chalmette (9/2006)
Hurricane Katrina -Wikipedia
Chronology of the Katrina
The Rise and Disappearance of Southeast Louisiana
Katrina in St. Bernard Parish