A/N- They say when one door closes another one opens. Well, this is my other door. I closed the chapter of my life that is The Sovereign Six today and now I'm about to embark on this new journey.
Along for me on this ride is my amazing beta, partner in crime, Katydid2363. Thank you for joining me again. To my prereaders and all of their encouraging and amazing words, Fngrcufs, Dinx, & Angstaddict09, thank y'all so much. To all of you rejoining me from The Sovereign Six, welcome back. This is going to be a little different but I think you'll like it.
I do not own Twilight.
When Katrina blew her fury across New Orleans in August 2005, she ripped the very heart out of the city
Before Katrina, music had pulsed through the veins of New Orleans. It spilled out of every club, seeped into every street, and nourished every tight community.
But it was those tight communities - places like the Lower Ninth Ward, St Bernard's, and Treme districts - that were engulfed when the levees broke.
And it was those communities that many of New Orleans' musicians were forced to flee.
Katrina scattered them far and wide - to New York, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas.
Thousands, it is thought, are yet to return.
From the BBC America, August 2006- one year after Hurricane Katrina
August 29, 2005 (the early morning hours)
...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE KATRINA PREPARING TO MOVE ONSHORE NEAR SOUTHERN PLAQUEMINES PARISH LOUISIANA... ...HURRICANE-FORCE WIND GUSTS OCCURRING OVER MOST OF SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA...IN THE NEW ORLEANS METROPOLITAN AREA...AND AS FAR EAST AS THE CHANDELEUR ISLANDS...
October 1, 2005
The warning played over and over in my head. Countless times I had heard it. It was like a sick reminder of what was to come. Sadly though, it had only been a warning. The sick reminder was the squander we were all living in now.
It was one of those moments that you will remember for the rest of your life. Like when someone asked your parents where they were when JKF was shot? Where they were when Elvis died? Or more recently, to my generation, where were you when 9-11 happened? Now the question of, where were you when Hurricane Katrina made landfall would be amongst those asked.
To answer the question of where I was, I was at my Aunt Sue's house in Shreveport, watching the weather channel like everyone else in the world. Well, I wasn't sure if everyone else in the world was watching but I knew for a fact that everyone from Louisiana who was able to see the news cast was watching. Along with my Aunt Sue, my dad Charlie and my mom Renee sat alongside me; eyes glued to the TV as we watched our home, our city crumble right before our eyes.
At 6:10 am, the morning of August 25, 2005, Katrina made landfall as a strong category three hurricane near Buras-Triumph, Louisiana with sustained winds of more than one hundred and twenty five miles per hour. Shortly thereafter it made landfall in Saint Bernard and Saint Tammany Parish. My whole family was up, unable to sleep the night before, as we watched the satellite images of the hurricane on the National Weather Service.
By eight that morning water had been seen rising on both sides of the Industrial Canal in New Orleans. Panic set in as we sat five hundred and fifty miles from our home. We were helpless as we heard reports come in that the levees had broken and the flood waters began to rise. The NWS advised those that had no means to leave their homes to get to higher ground immediately. They expected three to eight feet of water to emerge. I remember my dad chuckling to himself at the comment.
"Higha ground?" he shouted to the TV. "This is New Orleans! The city is already below sea level. Where in da hell do you expect them to go? Their roofs?"
And that's exactly what they did.
By eleven that morning it had been reported that ten feet of water had flooded Saint Bernard Parish. Many rooftops could not be seen from aerial views due to the water. My dad laughed again.
"Ten God Damn feet my ass! That's gotta be at least twelve."
Just when we thought we had seen the worst of it, around two that afternoon the news reported that the 17th Street Canal Levee had broken along with breaches in two other canals.
New Orleans, the Crescent City, shaped like a bowl surrounded by two large bodies of water, was officially under water.
For days we sat and watched news reports of those that were stranded on their roofs, feeling helpless to do anything. This was our city and there wasn't a damn thing we could do about helping them. Instead, we stayed in Shreveport and continued to panic about what the situation at our own homes would be like.
My dad left Shreveport as soon as it was clear for residents to return home. He spent a few days surveying the damage of our homes and his jazz club. He called his last night there, his voice strained from the emotional breakdown he had gone through as he replayed the aftermath of Katrina to my mom and myself.
The city and our homes weren't livable. Water still inhabited my parents' house but had receded from the jazz club they owned. He came back to Shreveport right before Hurricane Rita hit the coast causing the water that had began to recede to rise once again.
I was lucky in the sense though that my friends had been recovered after the storm. My dad had run into a few of them coming home just like him after the all clear was given. It was kind of a catch twenty-two in a sense. On one hand I was excited to hear that those that I cared about and had worried myself sick over were alive and okay but then at the same time, knowing what awaited us at home made me sick to my stomach.
On September 15, the mayor had said that businesses would reopen in a week. That was two weeks ago. I spent the first week helping Charlie out around the bar, cleaning up and getting it back in condition. Whether people had homes or not, they would still want to drink. It was the only upside my dad and I could come up with during this time of crisis.
I was grateful that my home wasn't in the state of disarray that my parents' home was. I lived in the French Quarter a few blocks away from the club. My parents lived in an area that had received moderate damage; the Treme.
The Treme was one of the oldest neighborhoods in New Orleans. In the early days of its history it was the main neighborhood of free people of color. It remains an important center of the city's African-American and Créole culture, especially the modern brass band tradition.
New Orleans as a whole has deep roots in the music industry but none of those compare to the people from the Treme. My mom and dad both had grown up in the neighborhood and decided early on that they would remain there and raise a family. As in most neighborhoods in New Orleans, the Treme had its fair share of crime. What made up for it was the fact that you could sit on your porch and watch as the brass bands marched down the street to a second line or just listen to your neighbor blow on his horn.
My family's musical background ran deep. My dad had taken up the banjo early on and my mom was one of the most sought after jazz singers in the Treme. I took up both habits from my parents, although, I never thought the banjo suited me as well as it had my dad. Instead I picked up the clarinet and sang only when my mother beckoned me to. I was much more comfortable behind an instrument than a microphone.
It had now been a little over a month since Katrina hit our city. People were slowly coming home but it would still be a while before the city was back to what it was, if it ever got to that point again. I had faith though that New Orleans and her people won't let that bitch Katrina get them down. We would persevere though this and come out stronger than we ever were. I for one was going to do my damndest, even if it was just a small part, to make sure that it happened.
A/N- I want to go on record and say that I did not directly experience Hurricane Katrina. Yes, I am from Louisiana but I'm from north Louisiana (Shreveport) but my husband is from south Louisiana and yes, his family was directly affected. I'm trying my best to keep facts straight with what happened after the storm and make this as realistic as possible.
I got the idea for this story while watching HBO's series Treme. If you can, watch the show. You'll gain some insight as to the people from the neighborhood as well as life after the storm. I'm bending a few facts to make it fit these characters a little better but overall, I hope I do it all justice.
Also, you'll notice the manner of speaking from the characters while in direct dialogue. I'm trying to convey it as they talk down in New Orleans. If you need help with slang or terms used in every day speaking please refer to this website or ask me. http://www (dot) gumbopages (dot) /yatspeak (dot) html
Thank you for checking this out and hopefully joining me on yet another great adventure! Updates will be about once a week give or take a few days. Also, if anyone can make banners please PM me. I need a banner for this story but I can't find any pictures I like and I'm terrible at manips!