VIDEO: Southeast Louisiana marks somber anniversary of Katrina

VIDEO: Southeast Louisiana marks somber anniversary of Katrina
(Source: WAFB)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People across the region stop to reflect on the 14th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

In St. Bernard Parish leaders and residents commemorate the at Shell Beach.

“It doesn’t seem like it’s been 14 years already,” said Rufus Rivers.

The pain for some is still just as raw. Jimmy Hebert lost his brother and father-in-law.

There's certain things that are entrenched in my mind that I'll never forget," said Hebert.

St. Bernard parish Hurricane Katrina Memorial
St. Bernard parish Hurricane Katrina Memorial

It’s a hard day for him but it’s important for him to reflect with his family and others. “"I just felt like this is the place we ought to be on this day so we can remember them as much as we can as long as we can,” Hebert said. “You want to forget about Katrina itself but it's a place we thought we had to be."

Parish President Guy McInnis says the storm came through Shell Beach with high surges and in took in 16 feet of water in some areas.

"That water came in and it whipped around,” McInnis said. “It went into Lake Pontchartrain and I believe it was Monday morning. It came over the levee and it totally engulfed our area."

He says he and his brother were sitting in Chalmette High School, “and the water started coming over the levees and we ran up the ramp of the gym and it was just surreal. You know, the sirens going off on the fire trucks that were there all the cars the horns going off," McInnis said.

164 people died as a result of the storm. McInnis says 29,000 structures and homes were destroyed.

Since then, he says the parish has come a long way.

“It’s really been a Renaissance,” said McInnis. “It’s been a blessing actually with how we have recovered. We’re never going to forget that day and people that lost their lives.”

To end the ceremony, a wreath was placed in the nearby ship channel by family members.

Copyright 2019 WVUE. All rights reserved.