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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

August 30, 2005

Good riddance Katrina!

Filed under Katrina

Hurricane Katrina has come and gone, but her effects will be felt in Mobile and elsewhere on the Gulf Coast for a long time.

water at house The water missed entering our house by about five inches. (In the photo the water had already gone down about one foot.) At about 2:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon the water stopped rising. We had begun putting everything in the house up higher and were considering how to get my father-in-law up into the attic (he has trouble walking and especially climbing stairs). But we didn’t have to, fortunately. The water began to recede about a half hour later as Katrina was on a plane even with and then north of Mobile, changing the wind condition.

trash in yard By evening the water had receded down into the back yard, exposing a pile of trash and other debris deposited all over the neighborhood. Our neighbors all had water in their houses, and Monica’s niece and her husband lost just about everything in their house, located about 200 feet away but built lower to the water level than ours. We will be without electric power for days, but our neighbor has a generator, so at least we can run the refrigerator. Now it is clean-up time – the basement is completely trashed and all the debris in the yard.

tree on rr tracks But we were very fortunate. Other people lost their homes, and worse yet, their lives. Monica’s niece and her husband were scheduled to move to Denver in three weeks, having lived on the Gulf Coast for 15 months and have gone through three major hurricanes. Monica’s uncle, just 3 houses down, also lost everything. We felt very protected, and the anxiety of watching the water rise and rise humbles us before the power of nature and will certainly enable us to feel more empathy in the future for those who experience the same thing.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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