I don’t know HOW I neglected to tell this story before, silly me. 🙂
We purchased our 1st home the Tuesday before the storm, Fall ’05 classes started that same day, and we both were working full-time jobs. Can you say BUSY!
Between moving out of the apartment, work, school, and shifting schedules around to meet the cable man, the gas company, etc… We had NO CLUE about the storm headed our way until Friday night when we sat down and watched t.v. for the 1st time since getting our keys.
I remember calling around to my mom and grandma, asking “are yall leaving?” and they both said no, they would do a vertical evacuation like always. OK! cool… that meant, it was business as usual. We’re riding it out!
Saturday morning got up watching the news, and they were saying how WAL-MART was closing, and I can honestly say that THAT was the 1st time I got nervous. Wal-Mart NEVER closes. Called my momma ’em and still same word ” vertical evacs“. Ok! cool So Ian and I went, got a few little things, filled up the car just in case.
Sunday morning, I panicked… Called my momma ’em and can someone tell me why they were on the road! I was furious!!!! At this point people were just sitting on I-10, just sitting. We KNEW our car couldn’t make it… so I convinced Ian that we should go to the “dome”. figured I’d go we’d be there 24 hrs max, they have generators, we’ll be fine.
So Sunday afternoon, we drove downtown, parked in Tulane Medical School parking garage, walked the 2 blocks to the dome and settled in. Sunday night, everything was cool, air, water, people chilling.
Monday everything was cool, water, air, people chilling, National guards FORCING you to take MRE’s and Water.
Monday night, early Tuesday morning like 3am, the storm passed over, we sat and watched the roof peel back like somebody took a can opener to it. Ian and I were like cool… The storm has passed they’ll be letting us out tomorrow morning.
When I woke up Tuesday… I immediately notice that the air/power was out.. ok, still no biggie, went to the bathroom and noticed that the water was off. Now THAT was strange. Even STRANGER… the national guards that were FORCING food upon you are now saying ” ONE per person”.. hmmm. Then noticed that people are COMING to the dome WET!!
I ended up running into a police officer friend of mine and he was like “oh! it’s flooding” I’m like “It always floods after a storm”, but figured okay whatever.
The conditions inside the dome went from it’s okay, it’s not so bad, to WTF happened… I mean by noon on Tuesday… The toilets were overflowing into the halls… Somebody had jumped from the 2nd floor mezzanine… 2 little girls were found raped in a 3rd floor bathroom, people are fighting… it’s hot, so the bathrooms are causing the whole building to smell like FECES. kids are walking around lost, looking for their parents. And the trash has piled up to the ceilings. And the national Guards had all the exit/entrance ramps guarded so no one could leave.
Ian and I stayed up all night Tuesday, basically planning. What was the plan… GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE DOME!
We watched all night as droves of people came into the dome, soaked from their head to their toes. We listened to the National Guardsmen, whisper among themselves that “This was some bullshit, and they wish they would hurry up and send help” WTF kinda shit is that.
So Wednesday morning… Ian & I got our things together into ONE bag…. asked the lady and her dtr if we sat next to, if they wanted to come, they said no…. WE BOUNCED.
We WALKED around the Superdome about 10times, asking every single Guardsmen to let us leave. They KEPT saying “NO” and waving us away with their guns. Until finally one of them was like “You wanna go, GO, It’s your funeral” we get past them only to be met by another checkpoint saying “NO”. So we waited between check points, and when we saw the guards huddled up talking, we ran past.
Ok… So now we’re out of the Dome… YAY!… NOPE In between the Dome and our car… Chest deep water!
We looked at each other, and with our eyes, were like ” Let’s Do It”
We waded, swam, tip toed, floated, all the while keeping our bags above water, until we made it to the garage.
We took quick “hoe baths” on the roof of the garage, before moving down to the 3rd level where the parking garage connected to the medical school.
So we’re just sitting in the car, looking at the people hanging out at Charity Hospital E.R. Ramp. When all of a sudden 3 white men with guns came running up on us…. We immediately assumed the FUKIN position. Turns out they were “Police officers”, I still don’t buy it… But they claimed they were looking for somebody who was sniping shots at them from the Garage. OKAY!
After they left, we just chilled in the parking garage all night.
Thursday morning, some med students and a janitor came through going to their cars. We asked the med students if they were evacuating the hospital… those bastards lied and said no. We asked the janitor and he said YES! BUT they were only doing patients today. We said NO Problem and asked if he would walk us past Tulane Med School Security. Which he agreed to.
So Thursday night we hung out in the hallways of Tulane Med School, ended up meeting an “Angel” and she sat in the hall with us all night Thursday, gave us snacks, and juice, and personally escorted us Friday morning to the helicopter pad of Tulane Hospital.
Friday Morning we were on the 3rd helicopter out of the City. Got dropped of at the airport. We wandered around asking “Where are the buses going to Houston, OR WHEREVER?” No one knew anything. Finally this white guy another “Angel” tapped me on the shoulder, and asked did we have family in Chicago or Atlanta. I was, No, but if you can get us out of here, I can get to family.
Turns out he was Flight crew on United Airlines and they had just brought a plane of EMT’s to help out and were going to fill the plane up w/ new orleanians. Just to help. We were 4th and 5th on that list. We didn’t find out we were going to Chicago until we were enroute. lol We didn’t care! Got to chicago, Friday night, got in touch with my dad, in Louisville. But before he could gas up and head our way, we were offered a free flight to Louisville.
We got to Louisville, LATE Friday night.
Smelly( STANK, DIRTY) Tired, hungry, and most of all GRATEFUL for all the Angels we came upon since we’d left New Orleans.
anyone who knows BOTH Ian & I, know that we are two of the silliest, shit-talking people esp. to each other. Not one time did we argue, bicker, disagree. I’m the MOST sappy person you will ever meet and NOT a single tear fell until we were safe. You never know how strong you are until you HAVE to be! LOL
We didn’t find out the magnitude of what was going on until Saturday Morning.