Five years after Katrina, victim moves forward in SWLA - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Five years after Katrina, victim moves forward in SWLA

Posted: Updated:

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – Five years ago, most of us watched the heartbreaking scenes from Hurricane Katrina play out on TV screens, but for others who lived in the disaster zone, it was all too real.

Shawn Herndon had just started classes at McNeese State University. Two weeks later his childhood home took a direct hit from Katrina. Herndon worried about his family.

"I didn't even know where they went. I knew my dad had gone to, I believe he went to New Iberia; my mom… I had no idea. I just knew that she had taken my brother," recalled Herndon.

As Herndon waited to hear from his family, officials in Southwest Louisiana were busy dealing with an influx of Katrina evacuees.

"Our population here in Southwest Louisiana probably grew by 25,000," said Dick Germillion with the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security.

Less than a month after Katrina came Rita, which gave Herndon an excuse to return home to New Orleans to see the damage done by Katrina

"The kitchen was completely rotted out, the ceiling had caved in," said Herndon. "It was pretty hard walking through there again because you just remembered all the times you've had over nineteen years being in one place."

"Did Hurricane Katrina prepare us for Hurricane Rita? I think the obvious answer is yes."

And not only did Southwest Louisiana make it through those tumultuous weeks, so did Herndon.

Now a producer here at KPLC, he's decided to make Lake Charles his permanent home.

"I've taken a lot of the lessons I've learned from Katrina and Rita and applied them to where I'm going to live and how I'm going to live," said Herndon.

But he'll never forget life five years ago.

Copyright 2010 KPLC-TV.  All Rights Reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Coroner: Gulfport murder victim was shot in the groin

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:31:26 GMT
    According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later Tuesday night.More >>
    An area of Gulfport still reeling from the brutal murder of a child last week was hit with another violent death Tuesday night. According to Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove, Lamont Hayes, 41, was shot in the groin area and bled to death just a few hours later.More >>
  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Two arrested for St. Martin burglary, TV theft

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 11:44 AM EDT2014-07-23 15:44:17 GMT
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
    Investigators in Jackson County say two men who broke into a St. Martin home and stole a large television were arrested after they sold the TV a short time later.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.