I was born in New Orleans and 6months later moved to British Columbia and then spent my childhood between both places. I am 30 yrs old and for the last 6yrs I have been situated in New Orleans where I spent my time managing Nightclubs, working with Jazz bands and running stages for some of our local festivals…Right on the heels of taking a great band, the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, on their first New York City tour, I returned to the city and celebrated my 3oth birthday on August 15, 2005. A few weeks later after a long night a work I wokeup and decided to go see my fiance, who was visiting her family in Santa Cruz, California. I bought a ticket and flew out on Thursday. Saturday morning we woke to the news that a hurricane was headed for my city. We spent the next two days glued to the phone and the t.v. With my mom in B.C. and our friends all evacuated there was no one to rescue our cat, Jules(my tenants who were there, had promised to feed him but as we shall see, they were not to be relied on) so we could just watch and worry. After a few tense days we borrowed Heather’s mothers jeep and heading back to Louisiana, via Big Sur, LA and Austin, Texas. I left my fiance in Austin and went, chainsaw in hand, back to Louisiana with my buddy, Youngblood. We weren’t allowed directly into the city so we helped out his dad and some other folks we know, by clearing their yards of falling trees. We spent nights camped out on people’s porches to try and beat the heat(no power) and stayed up late talking and eating MRE’s. By this point we had finally contacted my tenant by email, he had evacuated 4 days after the storm, leaving behind his cat, my cat and my car, but taking my emergency funds(it was an emergency) and my ipod. That boy had very strange tendencies, but we never saw him again. So we went to our friend from the Ponchatoula Times and obtained a Press pass and loaded with camera’s and masks we circumnavigated the military and got into New Orleans-proper. It was shocking, this was two weeks after Katrina and it was a stagnant wasteland, houses were marked with the now familiar X’s, deciphering them let you know of the horrors that were found inside. We got to our family compound(my mother owns a duplex right across the courtyard from my duplex) and found that people had been living in our homes. Luckily they were fairly respectable, and besides breaking down the doors all they took were a few clothes and this allowed our Jules the Cat to get into my mom’s house(a place he has always wanted to explore) so scooping the lil bastard up we got out of the city(this took awhile since most regular routes were still underwater and we had to pass a few military checkpoints and inspections to get out)….
Next blog will follow the Evacuation for Rita or Haven’t We Done This Before?