Avoiding another heartbreak

By Staff
Scot Beard, Franklin County Times
Three years ago my wife, Erin, and I turned on the news and watched reports of the damage created by Hurricane Katrina.
We watched people escape death by climbing to rooftops and interstate overpasses.
We watched as people waited on these isolated islands, cut off from the rest of the world by floodwaters created by a massive storm surge and the failure of outdated levees surrounding a city that was built mostly below sea level.
Like the rest of the nation, we watched and we cried.
Unlike most of the nation, we had a special bond with New Orleans.
Eight months before Katrina hit, Erin and I stood on a platform on Decatur Street.
With St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square in the background, we exchanged our wedding vows in front of a small group of family and friends.
We had planned on getting married in Florence, but we decided during the planning we would rather have a smaller service in a different location.
I got on the Internet and found a wedding chapel in the French Quarter and pitched the idea to Erin.
She loved it, so we changed our plans.
It was a lovely ceremony and honeymoon.
Eight months later we reflected on all the happy memories we had on that trip and cried as we saw the rampant devastation in the city we loved so much.
As a life-long Saints fan, I was used to seeing disappointment in the Superdome, but not at the post-Katrina level.
Sure the Saints lost several games on the indoor turf over the years, but several thousand people who had lost loved ones and possessions were now on that same turf trying not to lose hope.
It was a very sad time for my wife and I.
About a week ago she told me Hurricane Gustav was heading for the city and my heart broke again.
New Orleans, and most of the Gulf Coast region from Louisiana to Alabama was still trying to recover from Katrina.
Fortunately many residents evacuated the Gulf Coast, unlike three years ago.
There was sever damage caused by Gustav and my heart goes out to all of the victims that will have to rebuild in the coming weeks, months and years.
Going through a hurricane is no easy thing – Erin and I were in Orlando a couple of years ago when Charlie blew through – and I wish the best to the residents who were in the path of Gustav.
I am relieved, however, that New Orleans was not hit as hard as it was during Katrina.

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