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Escape From Harvey Triggers Traumatic Memories Of Fleeing Katrina

Bill Zeeble
Lorrine Adamore in her car with son Julian. They've lived 12 years in Houston, after leaving New Orleans, by boat, during floods of Katrina

Houstonian Lorrine Adamore is holed up in one of the three shelters Dallas set up for people fleeing Hurricane Harvey.

It’s a familiar feeling: 12 years ago she was rescued by boat when her New Orleans home was swamped by Hurricane Katrina.

With the first warning sounded days ago of Harvey’s potential devastation, Adamore figured getting out was a good idea. Actually, she was already here on business. As she heard of flood waters rising back home, Adamore and her 26-year-old son, Julian, checked into a shelter in southern Dallas.

“I’m a Katrina evacuee, and I’m not going to endure the same thing that I endured with Katrina,” Adamore says. “I was anxious already considering the fact that we’re all on the heels of the 12th anniversary of Katrina. So I’ll never ride out another hurricane.”

Katrina struck New Orleans a dozen years ago August 29. Walking into the Tommie Allen Recreation Center off Bonnie View Road triggered bad memories.

“When I came here and I saw the cots, I was telling my son I didn’t think I could do it because when we went through the Katrina, my husband was there, and he has since passed in 2013 of brain cancer,” Adamore recalls.

“But he’s the one who put me on the boat in New Orleans. That’s how we got to Houston. So we all came to the shelter together, and just to walk in the shelter and see this whole thing again, and he’s not here is pretty traumatic.”

Adamore’s been away from home since before Harvey made landfall. She has already dismissed thoughts, however, of returning quickly. She figures what’s the use?

“We realized we couldn’t get back home,” Adamore says, “because the area we lived in is in a flood zone. I have a daughter that’s in Humble. And she’s 35 miles north of me. And they’re on higher ground. She has water coming into her house.”

Adamore’s staying busy despite being stuck here. The car of another daughter fleeing Houston just broke down a few miles away.

“We’re going to try to get her and try to get her car started and bring her back to the shelter,” she says.

And, she's going to try to escape and avoid those memories from 12 years ago. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.