Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)
TITLE: Hurricane Katrina
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I’m not the type of person who watches the news very often so, I really no idea what was coming. I only started watching the news maybe a day or two before for storm was to hit. I went to work like normal and really had no intentions to leave the city of New Orleans. Besides, what could the worst thing that could happen?
I can remember going to work at FedEx on Saturday. I can remember seeing some places already boarded up. I can remember my manager, Fred Smith, waiting on a word from corporate whether we remained open or close up. As we waited, we monitored the progress of the storm from a computer. The hurricane they called Katrina was heading for the city of New Orleans. As we waited, I could see people walking fast and in a hurry to get to their destinations. Others paid no mind to the seriousness of the matter. Hurricane Katrina was no different than any other hurricane experienced. Finally, we got word from corporate and the word was to shut it down. Fred, my manager, placed up signs and did all the closing procedures necessary. I had made a call to my good friend Frank to come pick me up. After a short while, he arrived and I said my good bye to all. It never crossed my mind, that I might not ever see any of my coworkers again.
My cousin called and pleaded with me “Tara, you need to get out of that city!” After she hung up, I spread myself across my bed and wept. I prayed, “Lord, I don’t want to die in this city and please Lord don’t let me die in this city!” I just wept until no more. I can remember, listening to music in order to forget. It was late when I got a call from Frank. He told me that his cousin, Arthur, was leaving on Sunday morning around 10:00 am and he and his family would be leaving too. After getting off the phone, I was overjoyed and called my cousin to let her know the good news. The plan was that I would be dropped off in Baton Rouge, La and Arthur would go on to Eunice. Well, I couldn’t really sleep so I packed up some clothes. I put out plenty of food and water for my kittens. Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t be gone for long. Honestly, I thought that I would be right back after Hurricane Katrina blew over.
Well, we were all on the road now and traffic was crazy. Some people were driving too fast and others not driving fast enough. Traffic lights were operational, but still it made no difference. Everyone was trying to leave and the get onto the highway. This year’s “contra-flow” was supposed to be different and better. As we drove, I could see all the boarded up buildings within the city. Also, I could see the panic state the city was now in. We made it into the “contra-flow” and all the traffic flowed one way. As Arthur drove, we made small talk along the way. The kittens were doing well and made little noise. Uncle Gus was wide awake and enjoyed the scenery along the way. Frank and I kept in contact along the way by cell phone. We all made some stops along the way for gas, snacks and to stretch our legs. Normally, you could reach Baton Rouge in about 45 minutes, but on this day, it took us four to five hours to reach our destination.
Once in Baton Rouge, I met up with my cousin, Annette. She was glad to see me and I her. Also in the car was Samantha, her daughter. As my cousin drove home, a feeling of relief came over me. I had made it out of the city of New Orleans and out the path of Hurricane Katrina. Arthur and Uncle Gus continued to Eunice. Frank traveled to Mississippi where other family members waited his for arrival. Each one, reaching their planned destination intact and safe! Little did we know the damage Hurricane Katrina had in store!
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