Region 8 Remembers Hurricane Katrina

August 25, 2006 - Posted at 10:34 a.m. CDT

Jonesboro, AR -- Patricia Batiste doesn't need photos to help her remember the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought.

Although it's been a year since she left New Orleans, that fateful August day Katrina hit, still haunts.

"I said, ya'll don't understand this is stuff I worked hard for....all my life for.  It was gone.   Everything was gone.   We had nothing....nothing," said Batiste.

With water rapidly rising,  Patricia was finally rescued from her flooded home, in the Ninth Ward,  by her son.

"All I could see was the top of their shoulders, they had to put a rope on the boat to pull it.   I have never been through anything like that in my whole life, and I hope I don't have to go through anything like it again," said Batiste.

"I woke up, and my hand hit the water.....I have never been in anything like this before," said Terrance, Patricia's son.

They narrowly escaped one horrific situation, wading hours upon hours through water, trash and sewage, only to reach another nightmare when they got to the convention center.

"There wasn't any  point in  leaving 20,000 people outside.   No food, no water, no help.   There wasn't any reason for that," said Terrance Batiste.

Feeling neglected, they had no choice but to leave.

They didn't know where they were going, but after losing everything, it didn't really matter.

"When I got on that bus, I was straight. I know one thing,  I knew we were about to catch some fresh air.   We were about to eat," said Terrance Batiste.

Their journey through the unknown ended here, in Jonesboro.

They finally breathed a sigh of relief as they  were welcomed with opened arms.

They were given food, clothes, vouchers for needed goods, and a feeling of home.

They say "home is where the heart is, and while Terrance considers following his heart back to New Orleans.....

"I'm home.   If they want to go back to New Orleans they can go, but I'm not going anywhere," said Patricia Batiste.

Patricia's heart and new home are here, in Region 8.