This is the true story of the storm that attacked Louisiana as seen from my eyes and the way I remember it.
I sat in a chair facing the open door to my house staring at our van parked in the driveway. Just three days before, I had been watching mechanics use their tools on the van. The impact wrenches sounded like they were jack hammering holes into my van. But this… this was different. This was five or six limbs laying on the top of my van. Not little limbs that would break off during a normal storm, but thick limbs from the trees that surrounded our house.
The sky was a scary shade of gray with very small amounts of natural light allowing me to see it. The power was off on our street, so no safe, secure artificial light to block the true horror of that sky. The rain was not falling nearly as much as I thought it would be. This was a hurricane. “Where’s the water?” I asked myself. It’s not like we needed it. The wind was a fear unto itself. Trees in the distance bent over as if to tie their shoes. I listened as one very large tree cracked across the street. I watched as it fell on the power line behind the house directly in my sight. The boom made my chair vibrate.
“So this is a hurricane?” I had always wanted to see one for myself. Guess it was my curiosity. But now, I never wanted to see one again. Another tree fell. The next thought was my daughter. She was in the top bunk of her bunk bed, close to the ceiling. I imagined a tree falling and going through our roof to hurt her. I got up out of my chair and rushed into the room to have her move into our bedroom with my wife. After she quickly fell back asleep, I headed back to the door. Katrina was calling me, wanting to show me her strength, wanting me to bow to her power. I couldn’t help myself. I obliged her every whim.
Another tree had fallen. This one was much closer, but I couldn’t see where it fell. I raced to the back door to look out. There it was. A pine tree. It had been beaten by the angry woman and was lying still about two meters from the back of our house. It’s bark was being ripped away by the harsh winds. I could almost hear it scream as it was being skinned alive.
This one didn’t land in the back yard. So again, I rushed to the other side of the house. Lying there in front, about the same distance as the one in the back, was another victim of the storm. This one was oak. The wind forced it to lift its shallow roots out of the ground. But it would live for a while longer. Its roots would not go thirsty because the rain began to fall harder…