The World of Kevin
 
 
4 p.m., August 26, 2005 – two years ago.
 
That was the hour and day that life changed for millions of people along the Gulf Coast.
 
I had just walked in the house. My wife asked if I knew about the hurricane.
 
“There’s one in the Gulf ,” I responded. “It’s supposed to hit the Florida panhandle.”
 
“Monique just called to ask if we’re evacuating and where we’re going,” she said. “The 4 o’clock advisory has it hitting New Orleans.”
 
You see, I’m an old storm chaser. As a television reporter for 15 years I was the guy who rushed in as everyone else rushed out. Having seen past devastation first hand, I’m also the guy who preaches to all our friends the importance of leaving. Because I have a system of reading storms, when a hurricane approaches, friends call to find out what our plans are.
 
A check of www.weatherunderground.com showed that the 4 p.m. advisory indeed had the storm heading to New Orleans. In the cone of probability, the centerline passed directly over our house.
 
In 1989 I covered Hurricane Hugo when it hit South Carolina. For one hundred miles inland, tall pines crushed homes. (I live 100 miles inland from the Gulf and 2 miles north of Lake Pontchartrain. My home is surrounded by 150-foot pines and 80-foot oaks.)
 
I returned from Hugo and began asking questions.  “What if a Hugo hit New Orleans.”
 
My findings were aired in a May 1990 television series called, “When the Big One Hits.”
 
The series revealed three things that had never been publicly discussed before. The first was tidal surge, which would flood the city. The second was that a safe evacuation of  the New Orleans area would have to begin 72 hours before landfall. The third was that the National Hurricane Center considered New Orleans to be its worse case scenario.
 
The series laid out the Katrina scenario.
 
The mayor at the time told me I was exaggerating and trying to scare people. My response was I’m not exaggerating, but I do want to scare people into evacuating.
 
Fifteen years later I watched helplessly as citizens failed to exercise the self-initiative to evacuate and as some elected officials failed to communicate the urgent need to leave.
 
I had the benefit of seeing what hurricanes can do. Many elected officials have never been in a hurricane; have never seen the destruction; have never seen lives and homes ruined.
 
New Orleans is a living classroom. Come visit and see for yourself. The Katrina Lessons you learn will make you a stronger person.
 
 
15-years before Hurricane Katrina hit, I predicted its devastation in a series of news reports. Details are below...
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Two years ago today the Hurricane Katrina ordeal began