Like the hurricane.
Though I was named many years before the hurricane was, I get all kinds of reactions and comments about my name.
There’s even a guy who calls me Ike just because that is another “famous” hurricane.
Not only do I share a name with the famous hurricane, I also celebrated my birthday (August 26th) during it.
The day of my birthday I had to work. I went out that night and passed out.
When I checked my messages the next day I heard this:
“Happy birthday to you…
happy birthday to you…
happy birthday dear Trina…
happy birthday to you….!
Look at all the trouble you’re causing on your birthday.
You’re lucky we all love you so much.
Talk to you soon.”
I had no idea what that was all about.
I mean, I know what the song was about, but how was I causing trouble?
I found out soon enough.
You may have been in the know from the beginning but I was out of the loop on this.
We all know about what happened after, but let me refresh your memory on the storm itself:
I don’t listen to the news often because it depresses me.
It is also hard to find time to catch up on current events when you’re a single mom with a one-year old and a seven-year old and you work full-time 45 minutes away. (That’s an hour and a half daily commute!)
I barely had time to brush my hair, much less sit in front of the boob tube and depress myself.
The point is, I had no idea there was a big storm brewing.
Apparently it had started as a tropical depression (Tropical Depression Twelve) over the Bahamas on the 23rd of August in 2005.
At 6:30 PM (EDT) on August 25th, the storm made its first landfall in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane.
Her name was Katrina.
And she turned out to be vicious b****.
She immediately started tearing up the state and killed six people the first day.
The next day (my birthday) she decided to play games.
Her winds had started to die down (to 70 mph) and they downgraded her to a tropical storm.
Apparently she didn’t like the new title, because she picked up her skirts and sped up and was upgraded again to a category 1 hurricane.
A state of emergency was declared in Louisiana.
By the time I had heard my happy birthday message on the 27th, she had turned into a category 3 hurricane.
New Orleans was ordered to evacuate and President Bush declared a federal state of emergency in Louisiana.
Just after midnight on the 28th, she sped up into a category 4 and less than 7 hours later into a category 5 hurricane.
President Bush declared a state of emergency in Alabama and Mississippi, and a major disaster in Florida.
She began running out of steam, but not fast enough.
The next day she hit land three times as a category 3 in Louisiana and flooding ensued.
Three levees were breached including the 17th Street Canal Levee.
On the 30th, they declared that the levees could not be plugged and began evacuating all the displaced residents who had been stuck at the Louisiana Superdome.
On the 31st, Katrina was downgraded once again to a tropical depression.
Her job was done.
She had devastated the south and the country as a whole was affected.
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall. At least 1,836 people died in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane; total property damage was estimated at $81 billion (2005 USD), nearly triple the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
I was working at Wal*Mart at the time and we were quick to start collecting donations for those affected by this horrible event.
I saw my name everywhere.
“Help Those Affected by Katrina”
“Donations for the victims of Katrina”
“All proceeds go to the American Red Cross to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina”
And I worked all day wearing a name tag that said:
Our People Make The Difference
I was so embarrassed by all the attention and comments I received in the days following.
Most people were trying to be funny but I couldn’t help but feel attacked.
I am not a hurricane.
I did not cause the devastation.
I have no reason to feel guilty for the trouble that I didn’t cause.
Soon after, I changed my name tag to read ‘Kat’ instead.
It was just easier.
I still get comments from people trying to be funny.
People remember my name easier now because they associate me with the hurricane.
Let me tell you, it sucks sharing a name with a hurricane as mean as Katrina.
Does this look like the face of someone who could devastate millions?
I didn’t think so.
Hugs and stuff,