KLTV 7 News talks to Katrina survivor who resettled in east Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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KLTV 7 News talks to Katrina survivor who resettled in east Texas

With the threat of Gustav closing in, it's hard to believe that just three years ago Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, leaving destruction and devastation.

Tonight, KLTV 7's LaKecia Shockley talks to one Latrina evacuee who started her life over right here in east Texas.


"Over time the mildew just went up the walls..."

For Toni Martin looking at her old New Orleans home brings back vivid memories.

"This is the only picture I could find of my home before Katrina during happier times with my daughter and my little dog in the buggy," said Martin.

Toni's home was destroyed when Katrina pounded on the Gulf just three years ago.

"There was rust in the locks because the water had set there for so long, so after we gained entry what we saw was devastating. When I walked into the bed room nothing was like I left it. Everything was turned over. The water had moved things around. When you see that. It's a realization that, man this is not going to take a month to fix."

Leaving the damage behind, Toni and her daughter Alana moved to Marshall to start a new life.

Toni became a Wiley College professor, and now works in education here at Region Seven in Kilgore.

She's even written a book called 'The Many Eyes of Katrina.

"It's about what people went through. What they were feeling and just the heart and soul of their stories."

Toni's only fear is that another hurricane could strike again.

"I worry about my Dad whose 85 who repaired his home and it's beautiful and now he's worried about Gustav. I used to think that I had to get back to New Orleans to call the place where I go every evening my home but now we go right to Marshall, Texas and that's what we call home."

Toni says several of her family members are traveling from New Orleans to evacuate because of Gustav. On a happier note, Toni and her family brought their culture to east Texas. The have a New Orleans cusine restaurant in Marshall called 'Cool Runnings'.

LaKecia Shockley, reporting lshockley@kltv.com

 

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