I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
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Barry's family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when Barry's little sister gets terribly sick, they're forced to stay home and wait out the storm.
At first, Katrina doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry's world is literally torn apart. He's swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century -- alone?
And they want to meet you! ” Barry wasn’t surprised to hear that. Even four weeks later, Katrina was the biggest story in the country. Every time Barry turned on the TV or got into a taxi with Mom or Dad, another voice was talking about the hurricane. “This is the worst disaster ever to hit America. ” “This is a national tragedy. ” “A great American city has been destroyed. ” And everyone wanted to hear their story. The kids at Barry’s new school. The man who made their sandwiches at the deli on the corner.
He’d be back with Mom and Dad and Cleo! Barry waved his arms. The helicopter hovered for a minute longer. But then it suddenly rose and flew away. Was it circling? Was it going to come around the other side? Barry waited. And waited. But the helicopter’s sound grew fainter, and then it faded away completely. “No! ” Barry shouted. “Come back! ” Cruz looked at him, confused. Barry felt like crying. But he wanted to be strong. For Cruz. “I’m sorry,” Barry said as calmly as he could. “I thought they were coming for us.
The dog didn’t growl. Like Barry, he seemed hypnotized. “Who are you? ” the woman asked. Barry’s throat was dry and swollen. But he managed to say his name. “I’m Nell,” she said. “Where’s your family? ” Barry looked around him at the endless water. His eyes filled with tears. Nell put her hands on Barry’s shoulders. “How about we get you and your friend out of here? ” she asked. “Sound like a plan? ” Barry wiped his eyes and somehow choked out the word “yes. ” Barry and Cruz climbed into the boat after Nell.
Big Lake Pontchartrain was up north. The Mississippi River wormed through the middle of the city. And so many canals and channels jutted this way and that, Barry couldn’t keep track of them all. Of course there were levees — big walls of dirt and concrete that protected the city from all that water. But some people said that the levees weren’t strong enough for a really big storm. Barry thought of Hurricane Betsy, the storm that hit New Orleans the year before Dad was born. When Gramps was alive, he’d loved telling Betsy stories.
It was just the wind shrieking. Even the sky was terrified of this storm. Barry was shaking now. Tears stung his eyes. And then he heard a new sound, a cracking and groaning, above the wind and rain. He stared in shock at what was floating in the water. A house. Or what was left of it. One side was torn off. It moved through the flood slowly, turning. Its blown-out windows seemed to stare at Barry. The splintered wood looked like teeth in a wide-open mouth. And it was coming right at him. CHAPTER 2 TWENTY-ONE HOURS EARLIER SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2005 10:00 A.