Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Celebrate 10 Years In Wichita Falls After The Storm

Hurricane Katrina Evacuees Celebrate 10 Years In Wichita Falls After The Storm

Wichita Falls, TX - A culmination of faith, fellowship and food is how a New Orleans family displaced by Hurricane Katrina marked the 10 year anniversary of the storm.

Saturday afternoon, before members of Reverend Rodney Miller Sr's family, took part in fellowship at Kemp Sunnyside Multi-Purpose Center, he led them in prayer, "Father, we thank you for the people of Texas that showed us love and compassion as Katrina told us we had to move."

In 2005, Rodney was stranded in his Gentilly home in New Orleans and his aunt Beverly Calvin, her sister, nieces, and nephews were cooped up on the second floor of a flooded apartment not too far way. Both can vividly recall the horrid memories of that event and the days that would follow.

"It [flood waters] came all the way up to the second floor and stop like God say that's far enough," said Rodney.

"We got up on top the bridge and we spent a night laying up there on the concrete," said Beverly.

Once being airlifted by helicopter, family members then boarded a bus to the Houston Astrodome. There they would reunite with other family and eventually journey to North Texas.

The wrath of Hurricane Katrina killed more than 1,800 people and displaced thousands from their homes.

Ten years later, in a place they never considered calling home, their family's faith still stands strong. During this weekend's festivities, they took the time to celebrate life together instead of focusing on the storms death and destruction.

And no matter distance or time the memory of their beloved city still comes to mind.

"I miss everything about New Orleans. I have a sign in my house that says do you know what it means to miss New Orleans," said Rodney.

"When I was young we used to come visit," said Beverly. "I didn't like Wichita Falls at all. Aw. I couldn't stand it."

An adolescent then, a wise 74-year-old now. Ten years removed from the city's she's known and loved, Beverly has since had a change of heart.

"Once I got here ain't no way in the world. I said I would never go back down there to live" said Beverly.

Beverly said accepting she would never return home to New Orleans took some time, but faith, family and food helped her fill that void.

"I'm still here. Yeah. And the way it look like I'm gone be here for a while," said Beverly. " I really do love Wichita Falls."

The family spent Saturday afternoon together at Jalonick Park and Kemp Sunnyside Multi-Purpose Center and wrapped up this weekend's festivities Sunday at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6