Pictures from Bogalusa, Louisiana
after Hurricane Katrina
Katrina marching right toward us. If you look at the map
of Louisiana, it looks like a boot. I live a ways down from
the top of the toe, right on the MS/LA state line. When
we decided to stay we had no idea Katrina wasn't going
to turn more and that her eye was going to come over
us. By the time she was as close as she is in this
picture, our power and cable were probably gone. We
didn't know we had gotten hit by the eye until the wind
calmed and we thought things were over -- and then it
started back with the wind coming from the other way.
The eye wall of Katrina over Bogalusa.
Looking at the streets and
highways in these pictures should
explain why it took days to clear
them enough for people to get in
or out of, or even around in,
Bogalusa. All of these pictures
were actually taken after the
streets were cleared, all but the
little one here on the right...which
is a highway.
The outside of our local newspaper office. The winds pealed
layers of bricks away. Over two months after Katrina and were
just getting three papers a week from out once daily newspaper.
A lot of these pictures are just of homes here in
Bogalusa, taken weeks after the hurricane.
Looters did some damage too.
To give you an example of the size of many of the oak
trees that were blown over and pull up by the roots,
that's one oak tree through the center of that home.
After more than a week, some people all but
gave up hope that help would ever come.
Bogalusa is a paper mill town, born as a sawmill town. In fact, my husband
works at our local sawmill here. Our town is surrounded by thick man-planted
pine forest that feed those mills. Our city streets and neighborhood roads are
lined with huge old oaks. I feel all of those trees protected us to some degree,
blocking the worst rage of Katrina's winds from most of our homes, but those
trees were only strong enough to take so much and many of them came crashing
down during the height of the hurricane. Suddenly our protection became our
liability, crushing our homes, our cars, blocking our streets, roads, and even all of
the highways, taking down power lines and phone lines, cutting us off in every
way possible from the outside world and any chance for help to reach us.