Ohio Valley Native Shares His Katrina Experience & Thoughts On Harvey


People in New Orleans are watching Harvey’s destruction and thinking back to what happened to their state 12 years ago when Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a category 3 Hurricane.

John Gruzinskas flew down to the Gulf Coast to rescue his family from Katrina’s wrath, and with Harvey’s floodwaters leaving many people helpless as well, he shared his thoughts with 7news. August 29th, 2005: Hurricane Katrina makes landfall devastating Louisiana and Mississippi. August 29th, 2017: Tropical Storm Harvey still pouring down endless rainfall across Southeast Texas and Louisiana, affecting millions of people.

Some places have already received over 40 inches of rain since last Friday. Gruzinskas said, “It’s just you have to have an extreme amount of empathy for the people who are suffering this because they’re losing everything that they own.”

His family was living along the Gulf Coast in Mississippi when Katrina came and severely damaged their home, and when family calls for help, you don’t question, you just go. So he flew to Alabama and drove to Mississippi to go help his family. During Katrina, gangs were roaming the streets, so his brother warned him to come down armed with a weapon. Whenever there is a natural disaster like Katrina or Harvey, crime rates usually surge. “Sad to say, human nature what it is, there are going to be people that are going to take advantage of other people, and they’re going to take advantage of the circumstances.”

But he says the worst part about any natural disaster are the memories that got ruined. “Everything is gone, and I think that’s the biggest thing, the sense of loss is not only your home, but all of your memories are gone too.” With Harvey still expecting to dump another foot of rain some spots, the damage is unfortunately not done just yet.

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