Tropical Storm Isaac brings back memories for Katrina survivors

August 29, 2012 3:42:01 PM PDT
As Louisiana residents weather the chaos of Isaac, those with experience of Hurricane Katrina are weathering a different storm.

"It brings everything back," said Sharon Mathieu, Hurricane Katrina survivor. "To not be able to reach friends, I remember what that was like. It bring up everything that you experienced."

Seven years ago during Katrina, Mathieu evacuated her Mandeville, Louisiana, home. She left her home and business and with her elderly mother for Houston. They would ultimately end up in Chicago to be close to her daughter and grandchildren.

Mathieu's mother died three months later. Five other elderly relatives died during the storm or shortly after being transferred.

As Mathieu marks the anniversary of Katrina, she is drawn to news of the storm.

"This year it's just unbelievable to be over the city the same day that Katrina was over the city," said Mathieu.

Mathieu made her move to Chicago permanent. While she may be safe here, she is concerned about friends and relatives in Louisiana including her daughter who ironically went down there for a family vacation.

"I can't be that far from the television right now or my cell phone," said Mathieu. "If you've never lived through this you don't really know what this is about."

Mathieu's daughter and grandchildren are safe, but they are dealing with power and phone issues.


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