The Gulf Coast relived the seven year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with tropical storm Isaac.
Isaac entered and drenched the southeast coast of Louisiana as a category 1 storm Wednesday, Aug. 29. Isaac has been responsible for 19 deaths in Haiti and four in Louisiana and Mississippi.
For junior Jermaine Ambrose, the hurricane season brings unpleasant memories that his family faced with Hurricane Katrina.
“I saw the most horrendous things,” said Ambrose.
Seven years ago Hurricane Katrina surged hardest in New Orleans, which flooded the levee system that failed to brace the city. New Orleans suffered one of the highest death tolls brought by Katrina and eventually 80 percent of the city was underwater.
Ambrose was fourteen years old he when his family evacuated to a nearby hotel to avoid the storm. Eventually his family traveled to Lafayette and stayed in a shelter where thousands of people joined them.
At such a young age Ambrose witnessed shootings, raping, and looting during his time at the shelter in Lafayette.
Ambrose and his family made ends meet with the few belongings they packed and the limited space they were allotted. After two months at the shelter, he and his family returned in search of a new home and to a new New Orleans.
“The soul of New Orleans is not really there anymore,” said Ambrose said. “The city is 90 to 95 percent rebuilt, but it’s basically just for tourists now.”
The city of New Orleans was better prepared for the force of tropical storm Isaac after the state of Louisiana invested nearly 14 billion in the improvement of its levees.
Although Isaac has been much weaker than Katrina, Isaac’s slower movement has dumped enormous amounts of rain on Louisiana and Mississippi and targeted many homes and businesses in Plaquemines Parish, La. Ironically enough, Plaquemines Parish is where Katrina first made landfall back in 2005.
Tropical storm Isaac does not only pose stressful remembrances of the past, but also worries Ambrose of what is happening right now.
“It’s stressful being here with my mind back home,” Ambrose said.
According to Ambrose, he tries to make the best of it by reminding himself that he is blessed to be here.
“I don’t know what I’d be doing otherwise,” Ambrose said. “Coming to Northwestern has really been a blessing to me.”