The winds of last year's Hurricane Katrina brought Michelle Pearson to West Tennessee and eventually to Jackson's Russell Road.
She sat Sunday afternoon with her mother, Sandra Menard, and her fraternal twin sister, Angelle Jacobs, recalling the days leading up to and following the storm. Her family was visiting her from Louisiana for Labor Day.
Pearson, 26, an intensive care unit nurse, lived in Chalmette, La., and worked five minutes away at Methodist Hospital in east New Orleans. The first floor of the hospital, with its cafeteria and pharmacy, flooded the Monday the hurricane hit.
Pearson was trapped in the six-floor medical facility with patients, staff and others who swam in for five days until the hospital was evacuated the following Friday.
Her husband, Robert Pearson, has family in Brownsville, where she is presently Progressive Care Unit Director at Haywood Park Community Hospital.
Question: What do you recall in the days leading up to the hurricane? A few days before, as far as you were concerned and the hospital?
Answer: As far as I was concerned, we knew a hurricane was coming and we knew we had to get out. My mom always told me when a hurricane comes, you get out because you never know what's going to happen. (Her husband left the Saturday before; her mom left early Sunday.)
Full Story: Nurse shares her experiences coping with Hurricane Katrina