Tuesday, September 27, 2005

WOW! A great story from Caroline Cook.

HI! I am a midcity resident living on Orleans ave. near Delgado. I've been wanting to write to you but things have been extremely hectic!
My boyfriend and I decided to ride out the hurricane at his house on St. Peter St. behind my house on Orleans Ave. I got stuck working at the hospital (ochsner) and spent the entire Sunday getting my parents out of town, my house ready and my boyfriends' 100yo house ready for the storm.
Obviously, the hurricane was terrifying!!!!!!!! We ended up crawling onto the floor to the stairwell where we huddled for 5hrs. in the stairwell with our flashlight, radio, blanket and pillow. Following the hurricane, we walked the neighborhood to assess the damage. Our beautiful area rcvd. extreme damage and flooding was evident in the area but not directly in front of our house YET. The next morning, one of the neighbors banged on the door, "Rick, Rick, the levee broke, you got to get out, the water is coming in!!!"
Out of nowhere, the water was suddenly there. It must have came in through the night. Again I panicked thinking we would end up on the roof. Luckily, my boyfriend's house is very high off ground so did not rcv. flood damage. HOWEVER, he rcvd. extensive roof damage and it rained inside his house LITERALLY during the hurricane.
Long story short, we were stranded for 1 week before being rescued!!!!!!!!! Our adventures were incredible. We even managed to get a boat from City Park and paddled to the pumping stations down Marconi Meadows to retrieve military meals. Once there, we were encountered by men with guns!! For the first time, I saw fear in my boyfriend's face! They ended up helping us with our boxes of meals and we helped them with their boat. We paddled back to Orleans ave. thru the Oaks LITERALLY paddling up into the trees, IT WAS SUREAL!!!!
Our rescue took 12hrs!! The rescuer was John Goodman's body guard!! I ended up in the hospital with rash on my face and legs. I became allergic to the antibiotics and ended up with partial facial paralysis.
Meanwhile, my family put us on the MISSING PERSONS list and was frantic!! We had no way to communicate.
I am back at work at Ochsner but very sporadic shifts and living at hospital. When not working, I'm living in BR. I've managed to sneak back into the neighborhood 2-3x/wk. to feed Rick's cat and all the cats left behind in the neighborhood. 2 animal rescue missions have donated food to me.
I miss N.O. and miss midcity!!! I will be back!!!!!!!! Very sad for our neighborhood, the park, etc. This has definetly changed my life. I desire simplicity and stability AND a good night's sleep! Caroline Marie Cook from Orleans Ave.