It is true, we could have evacuated. We heard the serious storm warnings for Katrina. We also heard that the streets were piled up with people trying to leave. We would be lucky to get out anyway. So we decided to stay with some friends. We would ride out the storm together, like always.
We gathered in a house that was on high ground. It was at least a mile from the beach. We made sure we had fresh water, flashlights, batteries, and lots of food for us and our pets.
When the storm hit, we hunkered down. It was not long before the lights went out. That was no surprise. But then the wind started howling. It sounded like a jet airplane about to crash into the house! The noise was so loud we could not talk to each other. We all hugged in the dark. Some of us were in tears.
It did not get any better. Water crashed through the windows downstairs. Waves gushed into the house in a surge of seawater and junk from the streets. We tripped upstairs in the blackness. We scrambled to get our emergency supplies into the attic. But the water kept crawling up the walls. It was as if the house was sinking.
Now, we are all huddled together on the roof. We even rescued a man who was drowning in our street. He swam out of his bedroom window when the storm flooded his home. We are shivering together in the cold rain. And we are wondering: will we live or will we die in this storm?
Yeah, we are storm veterans. But we were not re...
... middle of paper ...
...gh Loop Current, which had deep, warm water. These conditions can make a storm stronger. Katrina gained strength and regained hurricane status. By August 28, Katrina became a Category 5 storm. Its winds were clocked at 175 miles per hour!
The federal government declared a state of emergency in many areas along the coastlines. But not all of them. Max Mayfield was the National Hurricane Director. He was not just worried about the possible damage from high winds and rain. He didn't think that the levees and flood walls that protected the coastal areas would survive the storm surge. He was so worried that he called the mayor of New Orleans. He also called the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi. Then he called the President of the United States, George W. Bush, at his ranch in Texas. He urged them all to tell people to evacuate the area: a monster storm was coming!
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