Hurricane Katrina evacuee anticipates devastation after Category 4 storm

Anh Luu's restaurant, Tapalaya in Northeast Portland, is a tribute to her hometown of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (KATU Photo)

Serving up creole and Cajun favorites, Tapalaya in Northeast Portland is a tribute to Chef Anh Luu's hometown. The New Orleans native moved to Portland after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Luu told KATU News she's watching as Hurricane Harvey heads toward the Texas coast.

In 2005, she said most people were not concerned about the hurricane as it made its way to the coast.

"A lot of people who had been born and raised in New Orleans and who had seen all the hurricanes come through for so many years, nobody was that scared," Luu said.

Her neighborhood, she said, was under mandatory evacuation orders. She expected to come back home in just a few days.

"The hurricane was the size of the whole entire Gulf of Mexico. I had never seen in my whole life," she said.

Her family's home was flooded with 15 feet of water, she said. Her family joined family in Portland. Four years after the hurricane, she did the same.

"I hope that Katrina scares them so people will go and get out," she said.

Luu said she's watching reports of the hurricane that made landfall Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. She said she hopes people followed warnings to evacuate.

"Your life is so much more important than all of your things and all the stuff in your house, in your car. You need to get (out)," she said.

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