Katrina victim who relocated to Lubbock shares her memories - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

8/25/10

Katrina victim who relocated to Lubbock shares her memories

Brenda Smith, survived Katrina in 2005 Brenda Smith, survived Katrina in 2005

By Michael Slother - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – It's been nearly 5 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. Victims were forced to relocate to other areas, including Lubbock.

Brenda Smith relocated to Lubbock and hasn't been able to visit her family in 2 years. She knows she's lucky to be alive. "I could have been dead you know. I'm here by myself, I live by myself, and I want to be with my people," said Brenda.

Water filled her home and she was nearly trapped inside, but a friend saved her. "I went to go out the door and I couldn't get out the door and I was screaming and hollering for him. He pushed the door open just enough for me to get out, and I got out," she said.

She spent several nights in the Superdome and she'll never forget what she saw. "I had to walk in this nasty water and sleep in the schools and see dead bodies."

Hurricane Katrina took almost everything, except 3 ceramic Cabbage Patch Dolls. "These dolls here, you see they're dirty all over, that's Katrina water. I went there to get them in 2006 and this is the only thing I got out of my house. My sister made these 26 years ago."

When she moved to Lubbock, it was a culture shock. "I've never heard of Lubbock, I've never been in Texas, and it's so different."

She's disabled, and the cost of living has become too high for her to afford moving back with her family. "My grand baby, she don't know me, she calls me Mimi. I talk to her everyday but she really don't know me."

All she has are pictures of her family. She has them all over her fridge and says she talks to them to help her through tough days. "I look at my baby and I look at my moo-moo and I feel them and I touch them."

Brenda remembers her family back home any way she can. "Every Sunday I cook a big dinner and I pretend they're coming to eat. I still do that, Sundays are my hardest days and it's been 5 years."

When bad weather comes rolling in, she gets flashbacks. "If they told me a tornado was coming here I would go, I don't want to experience disasters again."

While she has her bad days, she says Texas is growing on her. "I didn't know what a burrito was until I came here, I make the best burritos, and I eat the Mexican food."

Brenda says the people of Lubbock are great, but it's still not quite home. "I miss the second lines, I miss the jazz, I miss the casinos, I miss everything. I even miss the water."

©2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Authorities in Broaddus now searching for suspect who just robbed bank

    Authorities in Broaddus now searching for suspect who just robbed bank

    Friday, April 20 2018 2:41 PM EDT2018-04-20 18:41:14 GMT
    (Source: KTRE Staff)(Source: KTRE Staff)

    Authorities in San Augustine County have confirmed they are investigating a bank robbery in Broaddus. 

    More >>

    Authorities in San Augustine County have confirmed they are investigating a bank robbery in Broaddus. 

    More >>
  • Livingston woman accused of stealing from title company

    Livingston woman accused of stealing from title company

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:52 PM EDT2018-04-20 16:52:57 GMT
    Ashley Nacole Reeks (Source: Polk County Jail)Ashley Nacole Reeks (Source: Polk County Jail)
    Ashley Nacole Reeks (Source: Polk County Jail)Ashley Nacole Reeks (Source: Polk County Jail)
    A federal grand jury has indicted a Livingston woman and three men accused of taking part in a conspiracy to steal nearly $400,000 from a Tyler County title company. Ashley Nacole Reeks, 32, is named in a nine-count indictment with charges of bank theft, conspiracy to commit offenses against and to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Wesley Moore, Moses Lopez and Austin Chumley are also named in the indictment. Reeks was arrested on the warrants early Fri...More >>
    A federal grand jury has indicted a Livingston woman and three men accused of taking part in a conspiracy to steal nearly $400,000 from a Tyler County title company. Ashley Nacole Reeks, 32, is named in a nine-count indictment with charges of bank theft, conspiracy to commit offenses against and to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Wesley Moore, Moses Lopez and Austin Chumley are also named in the indictment. Reeks was arrested on the warrants early Fri...More >>
  • Suspect in Angelina Co. nightclub shooting arrested

    Suspect in Angelina Co. nightclub shooting arrested

    Friday, April 20 2018 6:43 AM EDT2018-04-20 10:43:53 GMT
    Kevin Edward Jefferson (Source: Angelina County Jail)Kevin Edward Jefferson (Source: Angelina County Jail)

    The suspect in a shooting at an Angelina County nightclub has been taken into custody and booked into jail.

    More >>

    The suspect in a shooting at an Angelina County nightclub has been taken into custody and booked into jail.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly