Skip to Content


It only gets worse!

Object Type: Online Text

When we heard from our neighbors on Bellaire Drive in Lakewood South that our house survived the hurricane unscathed, we thought we dodged another bullet. Then we heard that he rising water had reached half-way up our garage and house. We were devastated. The poorly designed levees on the 17th Street Canal busted.

The news continued to get worse when we determined that my parents house was also flooded-- the house where I lived until college. The London Avenue Canal Levees were now busted also and there was no where for the water to go but up.

This could have all been avoided if the levees were built correctly.

Getting back to the City was problematic due to the shutdown of all entrances and exits to get to our house. We had to be creative to get any salvageable items from the house before the mold completely made the items unusable.

First, we had to get our shots-- tetanus and hepatitus B. Then we needed our respirators, which reminded me of gas masks. Then, we had to hope that we could enter and exit safely.

Every item of furniture was flipped over, including refrigerators-- which now had an awful smell. My pet turtle of 15 years was not where I left her.

The painful task of going through every single item to see what could be salvaged was difficult and demoralizing. The rooms that did not have windows had the most stale air.

We found a few things that could be restored but for the most part, the piles were placed on the front lawn as trash.

This was also the case at my parents house. The front yards were covered many times with household items that used to have meaning.

We moved to Baton Rouge for the fall of 2005 and had to find a new school for the kids. I am so proud of how my children handled themselves during this traumatic time.

The recovery is not going well and the levees have not been repaired adequately. We can only hope that there are better days ahead. We have our lives and our health (hopefully) and we live on for another day.


Citation Information:

Lee Bressler, "It only gets worse!." Katrina's Jewish Voices, Object #2529 (April 11 2021, 9:15 am)