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Three years ago

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today my photography class saw an exhibit by Melody Golding. The exhibit is called Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the media focused it attention on New Orleans, and the rest of the world forgot that the Mississippi Gulf Coast experienced huge devastation. Melody Golding came to the coast as a Red Cross Volunteer and documented her experience with photographs and video. The exhibit also includes first hand accounts from Katrina survivors.

On a day when people are remembering where they were seven years ago, I found myself thinking about my life three years ago.

On August 29, 2005, I was a freshman in college had barely been at school a week when the the hurricane hit. I was terrified. My dorm was the only building that had air conditioning and power after the hurricane hit. The men's dorms didn't have power, and the women's dorms didn't have air conditioning. I remembering walking around the campus with my roommate and looking at all the damage: fallen trees, crushed cars, but all the buildings were fine. I also noticed that the administrative buildings were being run by three generators.

The rest of the town didn't have any power and all the stores were closed, including Wal-Mart. Since people didn't have any food, so they came to my school to eat in the cafeteria. An older women (who loved blue eye shadow) and her husband liked to sit with me in the caf. Since we didn't have cable, I got my outside news from them. Everyday, they would tell me something new.
"Your school is next in line after the hospital to get power."
"One of the gas stations has gas now, and their line is all the way down the highway."
"The water isn't safe to drink." (my RA told me later that the school's water was fine to drink, but the water in the city wasn't)
"Wal-Mart is open, and people can get food. But since the line is out the door, all the food will probably be gone by the time we get inside."
"There's a city wide curfew. Don't go outside after seven."
"Your school's cafeteria is running out of food since the delivery trucks can't get through the roads."

Around the time I received that last piece of information, I noticed that the school's administration buildings no longer had three generators, but were down to one. And only one room had any lights turned on. Later that day, we were told to go home and classes were cancelled. We weren't told when classes would resume.

It was difficult for students to leave campus due to the gas shortage. The rumor going around was that there wasn't any gas until Alabama. I found a girl driving to Tuscaloosa, and I rode with her. Turned out that the gas rumors were right. We didn't find an open gas station until we were almost in Tuscaloosa. My mom picked me up in Tuscaloosa. I was home a week, and then the school's website said we could come back.

Three years later, seeing photographs of Katrina makes me emotional, which seems ridiculous because things were so much worse further south. Seeing Melody Golding's exhibit brought so many memories to the surface. I can only hope and pray that Ike doesn't ravage the Texas coast like Katrina did to the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

7 Responses to “Three years ago”

  1. Wow. What a story.

    Yep, I'm up in Dallas but still keeping an eye on Ike. Looks a little scary...

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  2. WOW. That is insane, it is like something out of a fictional plot of a book or movie. You are very lucky.

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  3. Thanks for the link, those were very powerful photographs. I remember being in my senior year of college and seeing the aftermath of Katrina and wondering how this could be the United States, it was just devestation.

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  4. Wow, how frightening! I'm glad you managed to get out alright...it's so unfortunate what happened to so many people there.

    Thanks for your comment! I enjoy reading other people's stories too. Come back anytime :)

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  5. I was afraid that I wouldn't get to you in a timely manner. The traffic down I-65 was so heavy. I've been very glad that these recent storms didn't produce the same sort of difficulties for you.

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