Making a permanent impression since 1994
September 9, 2005
Staying behind in New Orleans
By Jesus Manuel Diaz Jr.
my name is Jesus Manuel Diaz Jr. and I’m from Kenner, La. If you people are
interested in my side of the story and what I experienced during the hurricane,
I will tell you then.
Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, my family and I went to the Windsor Court
Hotel, a fancy hotel near the French Quarter where my father works.
arrived Sunday night at the hotel, but nobody knew if the hurricane was going to
be just another ordinary storm that was going to pass by or something terrible.
We gambled on an ordinary storm.
were wrong. The storm – or should I say “Madre Naturalesa,” which means
Mother Nature in Spanish – brought all of her strength and wrath just to
destroy the poor Gulf Coast, the place where I was born.
next day, Monday morning, Katrina arrived. All of us were at the hotel. My
mother and I were on the 20th floor when it came.
hurricane was so strong that the windows just shattered in every room. We both
ran out of the room – my mother praying – but the storm just got stronger.
hallway was so scary. One of the doors just flew open from the force of the
wind, which was trying to suck it out the window.
felt like we were in a black hole. The mirror down the hallway was moving. I
thought it was going to fly right at us.
of the power went out except for the hallways. My mother and I both felt the
building was shaking as if the place was going to collapse down to the ground.
father, a pastry chef who was baking in a third floor kitchen, came at last. All
the hotel employees had to wait at the cafeteria until the storm was over.
the storm passed, things got worse on top of not having power or any air
days later, we lost water. Everyone had to fill the tub before the water went
it was getting hot and everyone started feeling paranoid. My body started to
overheat and I couldn't even breathe because we were in a closed area. Then we
changed rooms and we had two balconies for air to breathe.
things got even worse. Across the street from our hotel, a Subway restaurant was
on fire. It was the same as you saw on television – everyone from the hotel
had to work together to take out all the chairs from the ballroom so they
wouldn’t catch on fire.
could feel the heat from the burning Subway coming through the windows of our
only thing we could do was watch the restaurant
fall down and burn.
that point, some National Guardsmen told us that we could leave, but to leave
together, with a National Guard escort. We waited and waited and they did come
and that's how we left.
you know what hurts? That George W. Bush abandoned the people of Louisiana in
their time of need.
the people at the Convention Center had no food and no water.
please listen – I’m only 14 years old. These people need our help, my
hometown needs HELP!
you people of the United States don't help, then I'll never forgive this
May the Mother of God, Queen of Peace on Heaven and Earth, and God bless you all.
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