Katrina evacuee adjusting five years later

Chelsey Isidore

August 27, 2010 9:09:15 PM PDT
Hurricane Danielle is churning in the Atlantic just as people are remembering five years later the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.On August 29, 2005, Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, becoming one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the U.S.

In the days and weeks after the hurricane, thousands of evacuees were sent to cities all over the country, including the Triangle.

When one little girl first made her way to North Carolina with her family after Katrina hit, the then-9-year-old said she was concerned about her future in a new place far from home.

Chelsey Isidore says she was first afraid she was not going to make any friends and not know anything, because she already missed a couple of days of school and was leaving all of her friends back home behind.

"I had never been out of New Orleans, so it was kind of a different change for me," she said.

Five years later, Isidore is an 8th grader at Leesville Road Middle School. But she says transitioning to her life after the hurricane wasn't easy, especially going back to New Orleans with her family to visit and seeing her childhood home in ruins.

"The roof had caved in and most of the stuff was messed up," Isidore said. "I would never think that my hometown would look like that."

Isidore says while it saddens her, she knows the difficult times brought her to Raleigh where her future is looking good.

"I make good grades, I've made a lot of new friends, I have a new house, I've gotten back everything I've lost," Isidore said.

She also says adapting to school was perhaps the hardest thing for her, since she felt she was behind. But, now she says she's doing just fine and is looking forward to starting high school next year.

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