LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Sunday marked the 5-year anniversary since hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf coast, causing massive flooding that devastated the city of New Orleans and killed 1,800 people. Although the storm was hundreds of miles from Louisville, it has had an effect on those who live here.
Five years ago Mary Ann Naser-Hall and her husband took their daughter, Emily, to New Orleans to begin her freshman year at Tulane University. Little did they know how their lives and the city would soon change.
"While we were there, the weather was beautiful - gorgeous sunshine," Naser-Hall said. "My husband had been out running that morning, stopped in a coffee shop on the way back and said everyone was talking about the storm that was off the coast, but no one seemed very concerned about it. And then she moved into the dorm and six hours later, we evacuated."
The Louisville family, along with thousands of others, heeded Mayor Ray Nagin's warning to get out of town just hours before the storm hit landfall.
"Even during the evacuation process it was all very orderly, people in the city were orderly, as we were leaving people were polite, there weren't great problems, but it was the beginning of chaos," Naser-Hall recalled.
The chaos that ensued in the aftermath of Katrina was unimaginable. The images played out on television screens for days, documenting the horror and misery of the the massive flooding that followed. Emily and her roommate who came back to Louisville with the family were devastated.
What happened in New Orleans five years ago had far reaching tentacles that touched every other state in America, including Kentucky, where many Katrina refugees from the storm have settled.
Some people, like Chef Richard Lowe, at the Coach Lamp Restaurant and Pub at 751 Vine Street, have made new lives for themselves here in Louisville. Lowe vividly recalls riding the storm out inside his home in midtown New Orleans.
"When the water started rising, when the water crested the sidewalks, we kind of started looking at each other - what's going on - never seen this before," Lowe said. "My house was three feet off the ground and by the time the water hit the front door it was like, OK, something's not right here."
After two evacuations - once from New Orleans and once from Houston, Lowe landed in Louisville at the Coach Lamp. And the food has never been better.
"Four years that I've been in charge of the kitchen every menu we've slowly introduced the Louisiana stuff," Lowe said. "We're to the point where now it's maybe a third of the menu, but it's 70 percent of the sales."
A powerful storm that caused such destruction and death so far away, continues to touch families here at home, and has far reaching effects five years later.
By the way Emily was able to return to Tulane after spending a semester at Bellarmine. She graduated and is now attending law school in Chicago.
Friday, May 24 2013 9:40 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:40:06 GMT
The Connecticut State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at multi million dollar mansion in Ridgefield. Friday night. Few details have been released, but the shooting occured at a mansionMore >
The Connecticut State Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at multi million dollar mansion in Ridgefield. Friday night.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:41 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:41:15 GMT
A Message from WFSB Vice President and General Manager, Klarn DePalma: Tonight, Channel 3 Eyewitness News did not broadcast our 5:00 or 5:30 newscasts. We were not able to do so because our buildingMore >
Tonight, Channel 3 Eyewitness News did not broadcast our 5:00 or 5:30 newscasts. We were not able to do so because our building was evacuated after a bomb-threat was made against our station.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:21:13 GMT
The Hartford Police Department is investigating incident involving students at the West Middle School and a cell phone video. The incident is also being investigated by the Connecticut States Attorney'sMore >
The Hartford Police Department is investigating an incident involving students at the West Middle School and a cell phone video.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 7:27 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:27:43 GMT
Police in several towns are advising the public to be aware of residential break-ins that have happened when families were out attending a wake or funeral for a loved one. Glastonbury police said thereMore >
Police in several towns are advising the public to be aware of residential break-ins that have happened when families were out attending a wake or funeral for a loved one.More >
Tuesday, May 7 2013 7:00 PM EDT2013-05-07 23:00:58 GMT
In a matter of weeks, millions of periodical Cicadas will invade Connecticut for the first time in 17 years. Every 17 years, millions of Cicadas, which have big red eyes and red-orange wing veins, comeMore >
In a matter of weeks, millions of periodical cicadas will invade Connecticut for the first time in 17 years.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 12:50 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:50:15 GMT
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week and left his parents and friends wondering why. Kimani Brown was a freshman at Crosby High School and in perfect health, according to familyMore >
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week, leaving his parents and friends wondering why.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 6:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:24:01 GMT
Police are searching for the man, who exposed himself to a female jogger in Milford Friday morning. The woman was jogging in the area of Milford Point Road and Holly Street around 6 a.m., police said.More >
Police are searching for the man who exposed himself to a female jogger in Milford Friday morning.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 4:29 PM EDT2013-05-24 20:29:15 GMT
Happy Saturday, Rain is on its way – as expected – but it will not hamper the entire weekend. Early this morning, there will be low clouds, fog and drizzle in many parts of Connecticut. This will haveMore >
Friday, May 24 2013 3:02 PM EDT2013-05-24 19:02:18 GMT
Federal officials investigating last week's commuter train derailment in Connecticut say the engineer described an "unusual condition" on the track before the train derailed. The National TransportationMore >
Federal officials investigating last week's commuter train derailment in Connecticut say the engineer described an "unusual condition" on the track before the train derailed.More >