13 Years After Katrina, Many New Orleans Residents Now Call S.A. Home

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

While much of Texas is discussing this week's first anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, and the damage it brought to Houston and the Gulf Coast, for San Antonio resident Carolyn Jordan, her memories of this week go back further, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Jordan remembers 13 years ago this week, when her home, and much of her home town of New Orleans, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

Like many NOLA residents, when the water came up, Carolyn first sought shelter in the Superdome, and later she ended up moving to San Antonio, a city she was not familiar with at all, but which she now calls home.

"Its due to the love and support that the people gave us when we got down here, you know," recalls Jordan, who is now a manager at the iconic Tip Top Cafe in San Antonio.

Led by Mayor Phil Hardberger, San Antonio launched an unprecedented rescue effort in late August of 2005.  Buses brought New Orleans residents by the hundreds to San Antonio, where many of them lived in buildings recently abandoned by the Air Force, which had formally closed Kelly Air Force Base earlier that year.

Tens of thousands of New Orleans residents arrived in San Antonio in the days after the storm, when many neighborhoods were under water and the city became more and more chaotic.

"I used to think that people weren't kind hearted any more, but when I got down here, I changed my mind," Jordan says of her reception in San Antonio.

The Alamo City's response to Katrina was amazing.  Without being asked, charities began collecting food, bedding, and other necessities for the evacuees (mayor Hardberger urged the media early on not to refer to them as 'refugees').  

Entire hospitals provided nurses to help the New Orleans residents who were sick, pregnant, and even in need of operations.

13 years later, many former New Orleans residents remain in San Antonio.Jordan says she misses the Crescent City, where she grew up, but now, San Antonio is her home.


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