Local Man in Touch With Family Hit by Katrina

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

September 2, 2005

Imagine having family scattered across New Orleans watching as the chaos unfolds, hoping they're ok. One Charlottesville man was lucky enough to hear his family is safe.

We've heard the stories over and over about families who are separated from one another and others who are simply unable to contact their loved ones. But for Troy Morrison, a New Orleans Native, communicating isn't the tough part, it is what he's heard and seen that is.

As he cuts hair in this small barber shop on Main Street, Barber Troy Morrison watches in disbelief, the madness in his hometown.

"When I saw it on TV, I was...shocked, because it basically looked like the city was in the ocean, " said Morrison.

As Hurricane Katrina churned it's way into the "Big Easy" Sunday evening, Morrison prayed his family would stay safe. Many of his uncles and cousins didn't evacuate. But have since gone to stay with family in northern Louisiana. Their homes now reduced to splinters.

"Some of them don't have anywhere to live, and [most of] the houses that they're in are damaged if not totally destroyed," said Morrison.

Luckily, even in the midst of chaos, the New Orleans native never lost contact with his family. Still, their tearful updates only seem to bring more pain. Stories of sadness and destruction that are almost too much to take.

"I cried... I was explaining to my wife, the areas, and the situation, and the things that I was familiar with [were affected] and it hurt me," said Morrison.

Yet as this father of five helplessly watches from miles away Katrina's devastation he's still able to count his blessings, his family made it.

"As long as they're living I'm happy, material things come and go," said Morrison.

When asked if any of his family plans to return to New Orleans, Morrison said its still too soon to tell, but many have already talked about moving elsewhere.

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