Katrina Hits Home for a Loves Park Resident

By: Nichole Vrsansky
By: Nichole Vrsansky

For most of us, the pictures of Katrina’s wrath are devastating to see - but imagine that your old neighborhood and your old home are among those horrific images.

Loves Park resident Richard Garrity is dealing with just that. He moved to the Stateline from Louisiana just a year ago.

Among the destruction and ruins in Louisiana, Loves Park resident Richard Garrity finds the place he once called home.

"I was just devastated, I just, I don't know what to think about what's left of anything, or when I'll ever get there to find out," says Garrity.

Garrity moved to the Stateline just a year ago from Kenner Louisiana - just west of New Orleans. His belongings are still there in storage - furniture, clothes, gifts from his late parents. He planned to pick them all up September 1.

"All my life, my pictures, my belongings, things from my mom, my dad, personal papers, birth certificates, insurance policies - you name it; everything you can think of is in there."

But Garrity says his losses pale to those of his former neighbors. Unable to get a hold of many of them, he's spent the last few days in front of the TV, at the computer and monitoring the phone:

"It's unbelievable - I've gnawed my nails off, I've paced the floor, drank entire pots of coffee, smoked cigarettes - it's been traumatic."

It'll be at least 12 weeks before he goes back. But Garrity says there won't be a day that goes by that he doesn't put himself back in his home town, among the places he once knew; the places that are now only memories.

Garrity spoke to one of his friends from Kenner - who is now 100 miles away in Lafayette, Louisiana. Garrity says even that far away, his friend describes long lines at gas stations and grocery stores. There's no water and food supplies are running thin.

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