Posted by: lizpalka | January 20, 2008

Chris Wood – Hurricane Katrina blogger

Chris Wood is an IT at Tulane University. As Hurricane Katrina approached, the university was preparing for new student orientation. The campus was busy with the sight of families moving their sons and daughters into the dorms. On Saturday morning, Tulane closed down and students were given the option to evacuate to Jackson State University or to go home. Chris didn’t have the option to evacuate from his 100 year old house in the Garden District because his car was broken down. Plus, his mother had passed up several rides out of New Orleans. The storm “was both exhilarating and frightening at the same time,” Chris recalls. As Katrina passed overhead, Chris’ house was protected by the other houses which sit close together on his street. He listened to the radio the first few days after the storm and doesn’t remember hearing from any government officials for quite a while.

Chris had no idea the 17th Street Canal levees had breached. He was driving around with a friend, checking on his neighbors’ animals and making sure they were fed, until the water became too deep for them to drive in. They returned home and ventured over to a bar, Ms. Mae’s, which was serving warm beer and giving away food. Inside Ms. Mae’s, everyone was listening to the radio as they realized the city was filling with water. Chris eventually evacuated with his mother and a friend and returned to New Orleans in October. He was amazed that nothing had changed since he had left. Chris began blogging after the storm because it became one of the only things that helped people get by. He felt a lot of anger towards the situation New Orleans was in. Blogging was a way for Chris to release that anger. “When you share your feelings with the world, it goes a long way to resolving those feelings within yourself,” Chris said.

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