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Hurricane Katrina Changed My Life

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Momlogic's Winter: Three years after the biggest natural disaster that has ever hit my family, I still feel like crying.

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The day Hurricane Katrina hit, I was enjoying myself at a retreat in Palm Springs, sipping lemon water and complaining about the infernal heat that I chose to subject myself to. A casual walk past the hotel lobby led to sheer panic as I saw CNN satellites describe the storm that we now know as Hurricane Katrina. I immediately thought about the New Orleans that I grew up hearing stories about, my rich Creole history and the connection that I found upon visiting. I thought about the horror of beautiful landmarks being destroyed. But most of all, I thought about my elderly family who live there, knowing that a storm of this proportion could destroy everything they've worked for.

Quickly calling my grandmother, I listened with grave concern as she talked about her siblings and the fact that my 74-year-old Auntie Georgie swore she would just put the furniture on top of the table and ride out the storm. She was so feisty, in fact, that the officials had to come to her door and make her evacuate.

The following days were characterized by agony as I watched people stranded on top of cars and roofs, their babies sweltering in the heat. I felt anger towards relief agencies and appalled that help took far too long to get to thousands of stranded souls. I was scared that the city that I came to love would never be the same. While I was blessed that all of my family made it out in time, the aftermath still leaves lingering emotional and financial scars on all of us.

To hear from a storm victim, go to page two.

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