1 year since Hurricane Katrina

It’s already been a year since Hurricane Katrina. Actually, two days ago was a year since I evacuated New Orleans and came to Georgia. It doesn’t seem that long ago for me. It seems like just a couple of months ago that I left New Orleans and came to Georgia and started going to work everyday in that dreaded, freezing cold room on the third floor of the New Orleans Seminary extension. I disliked being in that room with the two other people I had to be in there with. Then there was the bittersweet day I was laid-off and began my job search in the Atlanta area. I’m not complaining at all, though. God has blessed my wife and I with better jobs, a better hometown (in my opinion), and a great church family. Now we just need to find a home to live other than with my wife’s family. I continue to pray for other people I know living there still looking for better things.

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10 months of marriage

i got married on this day 10 months ago. not exactly the first year of marriage i was expecting, with the whole hurricane and being displaced thing. it’s been over two months since katrina and we’re still displaced…technically. when i say technically, i mean that we’re kind of in this transition phase between having lived in new orleans and wanting to live here in atlanta and call it home, but not having the means to do so yet…half-displaced maybe. i have no desire what-so-ever to go back to new orleans. the only thing i like about new orleans is the food. i greatly disliked living there. on the other hand, i love living here in atlanta. if my boss came to me today and said “we’re going back to new orleans and need you to come today” i would say no. at this moment, that means i’d be out of a job with no place to live. kind of difficult situation for me.

we’re going in

friday. that’s the day we get to go back to where we live in new orleans and get our stuff, then we have to come back to georgia. since we’re on a second floor, it’s still a possibility that our stuff is okay, so we’ve rented a u-haul. the closest place we could find a u-haul was in laurel, mississippi. this means that we’ll have to take a circuitous route home so that we can pass through laurel and get the truck. they are being nice and letting us have 1000 miles for no extra charge. thanks, u-haul! *giddy laughter ensues*

it’s a 17 foot, drivable u-haul. i’ve never driven one before, so it’s probably gonna feel strange to be so high up. i’ll have to watch those sharp turns. we’re riding with her parents to laurel, then we’ll get the truck and caravan down to my parent’s house in raceland, 45 miles southwest of the city, wake up early friday and get it done.

moving in

we loaded our montero up to the limit today and drove an hour and a half to work for the last time today. now we’ll only drive 10 minutes. we found a tv at k-mart last night for a good price, so half of the back of our truck is taken up by the mammoth box the tv is in. we used all of our fema money and purchased almost a whole apartment’s worth of furniture and a few decor items. thank God for fema. we’ve received a lot of donated food, but we’ll still have to go shopping for a few things.

candace’s parents are bringing the rest of our stuff tomorrow morning in their yukon. our furniture is being delivered tomorrow morning as well.

10 minutes

we found out yesterday that there is an apartment 10 minutes away available for us. it’ll be nice to save on the gas. i spent 80 bucks on gas last week. can’t be doing that every week. it’s actually in a retirement home. we’re probably the youngest people to live there EVAR! some of our superiors are staying there as well.

we also found out today that all of the vents from the roofs have blown off, leaving big holes. so we probably got some rain in the apartment from katrina. there’s no telling how much. i also looked at the New Orleans flood depth map and it said that the max depth in front of our apartment was 9 feet in front of our apartment. 8.3 feet behind our apartment. so i have no idea how accurate it is. we only have 8 foot ceilings, so at either one of those depths the apartments below ours would have been completely flooded to the ceiling at one point. it saddens me for them to already know for sure that they have lost everything. the apartment directly below ours had just been occupied by an older lady. she must have only been there two weeks. well, one of my jobs here is to enter updated personal information of students, staff, and faculty of the school i work at into a database that they had me create when i first got here in decatur. i was entering the address from one certain sheet and realized that it was the same street address as mine. it was for apartment A–this same lady who had just moved in below us. i found out from her sheet that she is in her 70’s, is due to graduate in 2006 and has lost everything. the other apartment below ours, B, was occupied by some friends of ours.

decatur

candace and i have been working in decatur, georgia. it takes us from 1&1/2 to 2 hours to get to work every morning from her parent’s house. i hate the drive. all of our offices have moved to an extension center in decatur. i’ve been doing some computer work and answering phones sometimes. candace has been answering phones all day every day. we ordered some new servers, so all of the websites i work on should be up soon, then i’ll be able to do my normal job. we still don’t know when we’ll be able to go back to new orleans to get our stuff. we still don’t know the condition of any of our stuff.

flooding and damage

we’ve been unsure so far how much damage was done to our area, but just found out that everyone we know that stayed behind have had to finally evacuate and from what they said, i don’t think that i’ll have much of a home to go to. i think we may have lost everything–probably not from flooding, but from the top of the apartment being ripped off. i’m not exactly sure how much is completely destroyed. i’m hoping there’s at least some salvageable items remaining. candace and i will probably be here in georgia for more time than we ever imagined at first.

katrina

well, candace and i evacuated new orleans and went to her parent’s home north of atlanta, georgia. i don’t know how long it will be until we can go home. we’re seeing video of new orleans on tv and there is a lot of flooding. the mayor said that 80% of the city is flooded. we have a second floor apartment in gentilly, but haven’t heard any news of gentilly. hopefully, everyone we know that stayed in new orleans is okay. we haven’t been able to get through on our cell phones.