"We never did think that the devastation was going to be like it was. That Katrina was going to be such a serious storm," says Karlina Allen. But seeing the devastation Katrina caused has Karlina especially worried. She has no idea if her daughter, Tracey Phillips, was able to get out of harm's way.
"We're going to go ahead and get out we'll contact you guys as soon as we get to where we're going. That was Sunday at 3:00 p.m., we hadn't heard anything since." The family has special memories from vacationing in Gulfport. You can see it in Tracey's bright smile in a photo the family took. Not hearing from her is like a missing piece to a puzzle for this close knit family. Watching the news makes it even tougher.
"Every now and then, we'll get a piece on the Biloxi-Gulfport area and it's mainly just devastating news. That body count is rising, they're having to use freezer coolers by funeral homes for bodies."
Karlina says each time the phone rings, she hopes to hear that it's Tracey's voice on the other end. She's hopeful to talk to her again to send a very special wish. "We would like to wish her a happy birthday. She had a birthday Tuesday, she turned 25-years-old and we hadn't had a chance to speak with her to wish her a happy birthday," says Karlina with tears in her eyes.
Tracey was also with her fiance and grandmother. Karlina believes if they weren't caught somewhere in the devastation, they would have been reached by now.
If you live in East Texas and have a loved one in the devastation you're trying to reach email us at email@example.com. Make sure you include your name and a phone number where you can be reached.