Harvey Arrives, Bringing Flashbacks

Aug 30, 2017

Harvey makes his second landfall this morning in Louisiana.

“Then it will basically track diagonally across Louisiana from southwest Louisiana up through the northeast corner,” Governor John Bel Edwards says.


It's the culmination of a week of tension, as we've all watched and waited while Harvey hovered over Houston. Throughout, that voice in my head kept saying, “I really don’t want to do this again.” You see, twelve years and a day ago, I was on the air making the announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have landfall. The eye of Hurricane Katrina came ashore just east of Grand Isle minutes ago.”

Since then there have been Rita and Gustav, Ike and Isaac, Bayou Corne and the BP spill, as well as the last year’s south Louisiana floods. And we’re seeing similar images and hearing similar stories, yet again – stories like what state Representative Valarie Hodges experienced last year.

“I woke up with a foot of water in my house at four in the morning, and within a few hours I had four feet,” she said, choking up as she added, “And everything I owned was under water, and we were not sure if we were even going to be rescued.”

With each new disaster, our memories flash back, sometimes even causing physical reactions like stomach distress or headaches. Social media has been filled with posts from folks remarking on what they're feeling, with replies acknowledging “me, too”.

Through all those previous disasters, there was the Louisiana Spirit helpline available, providing a listening ear, and referrals for more in-depth help dealing with post-traumatic stress. That service, funded by FEMA, shuts down tomorrow.

“There is still a need out there, but we were not approved for the additional funding,” Nicole Coarsey with Louisiana Spirit told the Louisiana Public Radio Partnership.

Governor John Bel Edwards says he’s hopeful Harvey will remedy that.

“Louisiana Department of Health is working with all the various Human Service Authorities to make sure that those services are as available as possible. And we’re going to continue to work with FEMA and the federal government about funding opportunities going forward.”

In the meantime, there’s the National Disaster Distress Hotline, at 1-800-958-5990.