(note: I wrote this August 29th, one year after Hurricane Katrina. I was in California at the time and unable to access my blog so here it is, a bit late.)
At this point we were only vaguely aware of a storm brewing — we don’t generally watch much television in a city where people watching is so much more entertaining. As I recall, it was Friday when we first realized that the storm might be a threat to New Orleans. When we awakened on Saturday David turned on the television while I was getting ready and we were stunned to realize we were faced with the very real possibility that a massive hurricane could very likely make a direct hit on New Orleans. At that point it was too late to change our flights and in fact, we were to learn that at least one airline stopped all flights in and out of the city on Saturday, two days before the hurricane arrived. Fortunately we were booked on Southwest and were hopeful that they would get us out safely. Still, we weren’t ignoring the possibility that we might be stranded, especially as we watched the news footage of bumper to bumper traffic heading to the airport and out of the city. We decided to buy some bottled water “just in case” and asked at our hotel what sort of emergency plans were in place. It was more than a bit disconcerting to discover they really didn’t have much of a plan.
Even though our flight was scheduled to depart at about 11:30 a.m., we were up at 5 o’clock to get ready. We knew it might take awhile to get to the airport. The first thing David did when he got up was to look out the window of our room on the 22nd floor overlooking the river and the French Quarter. It was a gorgeous view but David was rather disturbed to note that there was not a cab in sight. The usually busy streets were empty.