Story posted May 10, 2006
Some notes from Alan:
This story is submitted by Angel Yates who relocated to Arizona after losing everything to hurricane Katrina. She is extremely homesick, but with no way to return to the life and land that she loved. It is difficult for me to think about someone being in a situation like Angel is, and that in part is what drives our MGC-Group to try and make a difference. To think that someone could be so homesick and wanting to return, and yet be unable to do so just does not seem right in this great country of ours.
Here is Angelís story:
Looking out my window and seeing the beautiful Spanish moss and smelling the sweet salt air, knowing that it may all be gone with Katrina on its way causes me to go into a panic, everyone saying its Katrina is nothing, but knowing in my heart she is coming with a vengeance, my mind is in torment for the people who plays Russian roulette with their families lives. Thank goodness, I made arrangements with my normal hotel chain ahead of time 1week in advance-better be safe than sorry, preparedness is the best way to go.
I watched from my hotel room as the next hotel over, with in feet, lose their roof, part of their building, and many police cars get slammed with pieces of hotel, the police cars were actual scattered around like toys, and knew at that time mother nature wasnít playing around. As I sat in my doorway and watched I had a peaceful feeling come over me, after all I had prayed our family would be ok, safe, and the peacefulness in my soul during the storm was like a warm sunshine, however, my eyes saw what was happening, as my eyes saw, my heart stayed calm. Our room flooded from wind driven rain about 1 ft deep, and the tiny palm tree at our window was bent in both directions, this tiny tree let us know when the storm was in the eye and when it was almost over.
When we snuck home after the storm hit, it was about 30 minutes later, I wasthen in shock, I asked for safety during the storm and received it, but now my heart was open and raw from what I had to see. I lived off of Pass rd, and was coming from highway 49, I seen huge trees in road, buildings smashed to rubble, and worse, close to 100 people looting in the pawn shops, and 30 or 40 cops there fighting them off, this should have gave me notice of what the near future would hold. When I got home, which is a mobile home, I had my eyes closed, fear of what I was about to see, and opened them to see the trailer in tact, or so I thought, lol, the power pole in back had been imbedded into the tin, water lines bent, a mammoth size tree hanging over my living room roof, bedroom roof, the branches of this tree, all ready fell on the mobile home, I knew what else was coming soon, and hoped we werenít sleeping when the rest fell.
The water heater was hanging out of its hiding place, and the trailer had been shifted from its slab, making you feel dizzy walking down the hall. This was all seen with in minutes after walking in to my home, thatís when the shock hit, looking around, seeing other homes gone, or exploded can put you in shock real fast. Having no electricity-no water-leads people to do things only like minds could do, live like a pilgrim, or indian back in the old days, sleeping outside with huge bugs that can carry off your body, after all were across the street from the bayou, cook over a open flame, if you can find a pot to cook with, prob same pot to boil what little water you can find. Guard the pot, the water, your clothing you have left, and your home, guard it with your life, there are looters the next row over, going from home to home.
Pitch black outside making you feel like your in a nightmare, sounds you never hear are amplified, dogs barking, babies crying from heat and hunger, my heart is an open wound, tears cannot stop, on and on they fall, Iím scared, lost, dirty, hungry, want to do something to help, but there isnít anything I can do. Havenít had my husband by my side for days, he sent me to a trailer over a few lanes, so he could guard our things, I needed him badly, but all he could see was guarding his belongings, I felt alone, betrayed, scared. I seen people explode as the shock worked into the mind, fights break out between families, shouting at 3 am that lead to fist fights, all this amplified in the lonely night air.
I have seen first hand the military come into the town, helicopters flying over my head at all hours of the night, soldiers on foot, soldiers at the water centers with big big guns on shoulders, daring for a riot, I have seen families with lost mothers, fathers and children, weeping uncontrolled, hearts broken, smashed open and raw. I wondered if we would pull throw, us victims, had no clue if we would make it, I seen babies with blisters the size of 50 cent pieces on their tiny rears, crying for milk, only getting water, no diapers on fannies, or the same diaper on thats several days old. I lived in an area in which I had no clue to when I fist moved in, it was an area which seemed to be low income, but stayed due to husband working in the trailer court as a maintenance man.
People would not come to our little court, to help in any way, we see the caravans go by with food, water, clothing, and try to stop them, but they kept on going, the toddlers watching as the semis go on down the road, until: My son who is 23, came to me crying, losing his mind, like the rest of us at that point and said he had had it! He was going to do something, no one else was doing anything, and I didnít like the sound of what he was saying, he stated the babies a few trailers down were running high fevers, nasty blisters on the hind ends, no formula, he said he couldnít take it any longer, so he told the parents to put babies in bathtub with some cool water he be back, he came back with juice, infant tylenol, diapers, meds for their little butts, now I knew where he had got this stuff, but didnít ask for anymore information, because I am 100% with the idea that taking what isnít mine should not be happening, but my son did what he thought was best, and he shed tears over it in anger, next thing he did was get several boxes, cut them up into sign size, and went out front of the trailer court and stood in the middle of the road, picketing and stopping traffic, begging for food for these low income families, begging for any help, that we have been forgotten.
The teen age kids got the idea and stood out there with him, I was told my son is ignorant, stupid, and was going to get in trouble, my son told me-good let them take me to jail, maybe then we will get noticed, I let him do his thing, that night my son fed the trailer court of 150 trailers, people brought him milk, meats from their freezers, even collected 10 bucks, the residents ate with a happy soul, there babies bellies were full for the night, he started the next morning once again, and got more stuff, by ten am, the news caught wind of my son in the middle of the road, and came and spoke to him and other residents, needless to say this started a trickle of help coming thru, we were told that most of the help was going to the rich areas of town, the expensive homes and residents.
My son was a wild child, never listening to mother, wasnít even going to go to hotel, he thought he would be ok, but my tears changed his mind and he went to hotel. He went with the fury inside him to make a difference, this has changed his life to some degree, he has calmed down, he isnít so brave any longer, and knows life doesnít come so cheap. I am sad at heart due to the fact he has a lot of growing up to do, but I havenít seen him from the day we left Ms, 9 months ago, after living in our yard for 2 weeks we left to go to AZ, my son went to our home state-Indiana-where his dad waited for him, he is still there, jobless, but a different son. I miss him, his hugs, but I am lucky he calls often. I am lucky he is alive, I am darn lucky the whole family is alive.
We left Ms with a heavy heart, heavy heavy heart, it felt like I was indeed dying, but I was ready for anything to help, but leaving to do that was very hard. I miss Ms, my hubby hasnít had a job that paid him from the time we left, we have no place to live that is our own. Our emotional stress is at the highest ever, husband isnít dealing with this the best way, angry outbursts coming at me at all hours night and day, my uncontrolled blood pressure making itself known. I have no control of anything in our lives, and its hard to deal with. Time has gone by, shock is wearing off, now the anger has set in, a different kind of anger. The kind that brews and boils, if only husband could find work close by, maybe things could start over again, I pray for tolerance, for patience, ask for healing. I guess I want it all in my time, not gods, I have to accept its all in his timing, not mine, and thats hard to do.
My husbands open wounds are now gone, he got them from living outside for so long, they were open and weepy, thank goodness thats healed up. The emotional scars are still here and will be open for a very very long time for all of us. I miss Ms, but cannot get back there, no money to do so, rent has went up, my brain tells me to wait out this next storm season, my heart tells me go back, my common sense says to go back to my home state of Indiana, but none of this can come to be, we have lost to much, physical, emotional, personal property, it looks to be a long way to sunrise. Thank you for reading this long long bio of how and what we lived. Maybe someone else out there can understand what we all went thru.