In 2015, I wrote the article below on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina as an hourly journey of the night before landfall and remembrances of what many of us in New Orleans were going through.
Now that it is three years later (2018) I find that many have completely forgotten. To most its just history as Hurricane Camille which came through in 1969 is now just history to us. But there are people who alive who survived both storms and will most likely survive storms coming in our future.
In 3 years a lot can change. Even though the threat of Climate Change has been upon us for many years, I think I can say that 2018 has been the first year that its really struck home to people. Its no longer just a talking point between the left and right. Its real. From the fires in California, to the heat in the Europe, to the melting ice in the Arctic, things are changing and will continue to do so. I cannot help but think that there may come a time when I update this article again but I am doing so from somewhere else because the city I call home is no longer above sea level. Where will you be?
I am updating this about a week before the 2018 anniversary and may add notes to it on the actual anniversary. I plan on creating a small shrine in our new back yard for the night of the anniversary. I will add photos of it then.
The following links are to three art series created in remembrance of Hurricane Katrina.
THE KATRINA PORTRAITS - THE LAND
THE KATRINA PORTRAITS - THE FACES
THE KATRINA PORTRAITS - THE PAINTINGS
Starting at 7pm Central Time I will be posting photos in the Katrina Portrait series every 15 minutes on Twitter and Google+. I will keep the candles lit outside the studio on the Hurricane Shrine during these twelve hours as well as twelve hours of Mardi Gras music.
Local New Orleans folk are invited to visit the shrine tonight and the studio in the twelve hours leading up to landfall of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. I will keep vigil in those 12 hours and share my personal thoughts here in an hourly log.
Check back and share your own thoughts here throughout the night.
So here was the dilemma. The bridge is 27 miles across and the trailing edge of the storm was already coming in. If they closed the bridge before we could get to it, we were literally screwed. We'd never make it out in time.
So there were tense hours as we crept closer and closer to our escape. Mind you neither of us had had a bathroom break or even been out of the car in 12 hours. Our nerves were frayed and our senses blurring. All we could see were those mounting storm clouds in the distance and the spatterings of rain that were becoming more and more constant.
When we reached the bridge finally we nearly cried.
I'd like to say things changed then and we made a fast escape but even though we made the bridge the traffic continued its slow creep and that 27 miles were the longest of our lives as we watched the waters of Lake Pontchartrain restlessly move around us.
But we did eventually make it across but we did so on fumes. Our gas was about to run out and we were forced off the highway to search for a gas station that might still be open in an area that was mostly abandoned at this point.
When we finally found gas at a station with a hundred other cars, we took turns sleeping for five minute stretches until it was our turn to gas up....