Hurricane Katrina Evacuee Now Calls Dothan Home

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

It's been five years since hurricane Katrina devastated the gulf coast.

Many residents were forced to evacuate and start a new life in a different part of the country and some decided to make the wiregrass their home.

More than 1,800 people were killed in the storm and hundreds of thousands more were left homeless, including Larry Flowers.

He escaped the city just before Katrina made landfall.

He says while the past five years have been tough, it could have been a lot worse.

“I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana and Hurricane Katrina came through and wiped out everything,”

Larry Flowers is a hurricane Katrina evacuee. He says on August 28th, 2005, the day before the storm, he left his life in New Orleans behind.

“My brother came and woke me up and was like come on let's go, let's go hurricane Katrina’s coming! I said oh boy, hurricane Katrina ain't coming here! But I looked at the news and saw all this water coming, wind blowing, and trees falling and I said oh, well I better get up from here and go,” said Flowers.

Flowers headed to Brundidge to stay with family. He eventually applied to have Habitat for Humanity build him a new home.

“She called me and said ‘I got good news’ and I said ‘what?’ and she said ‘you've been approved!’ I said ‘who is this!’”

Flowers moved into his new home just five months after Katrina. He's only been back to New Orleans once.

“I mean we went and got things we could get later but there wasn't much we could get because everything was messed up. We salvaged mostly clothes but that was about it,”

But he doesn't want to go back again.

“No, it's too many memories. Nah, I don't want to go back. Friends that lost their lives bring back memories so I didn't want to go back,”

Today, he's just grateful that he survived one of the costliest and deadliest natural disasters in history.

“I thank God everyday for our home and for us being able to get out of Katrina. I just wouldn’t' want anyone else to have to go through that,”

Flowers now works a volunteer at Habitat for Humanity.

He says because so many people helped him get back on his feet he likes to help others.

Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $81 billion in property damage.

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