As Hurricane Isaac continues to flood Louisiana, heartache floods the memories of those affected by Hurricane Katrina exactly seven years ago on Wednesday.
For Brenda Smith painful flashbacks take her to a scene of chaos and fear as she fought to survive the massive flooding and high winds of Katrina "Today is my worst day because sometimes I have nightmares," Brenda said as tears streamed down her face.
Brenda has lived in Lubbock for about seven years after leaving New Orleans just months after it was devastated, but her vivid memories take her right back to where those nightmares began. "Everything in the back of my house was already floating to the front so I panicked and tried to get out the door," she said.
Brenda was trapped, but her friend was able to open the door just enough for her to make it upstairs. "The more steps I made, the higher the water was. Winds were so high," she said. For three days she was trapped at the top of her home, not knowing whether the rest of her family was alive or safe.
Eventually the waters began to subside, but her fears only rose higher as she searched for family. "I finally made it to the Super Dome. It was nasty and dead people were floating all over. It was horrible. I even lost my husband in the hurricane," Brenda said through sobs.
Luckily the rest of her family was safe including her daughter who was seven months pregnant. Just months after Brenda moved to Lubbock her daughter gave birth to a little girl who they nick-named the "Katrina Baby".
With Isaac making its mark on New Orleans this week, worry once again fills Brenda as she thinks of her family. Her daughter still lives in New Orleans, and just like with Katrina there is a new baby – a little five week old boy they have nick-named the "Isaac Baby". "It was like déjà-vu," Brenda said. "This time they didn't stay there. They went up to Baton Rouge to stay with my mom."
The memories of Katrina will never go away, but they're memories that have made her stronger as a survivor of that deadly disaster. "I lived it. I was out there trapped trying to make it, trying to survive through that hurricane and I did," she said triumphantly.
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