PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ― Alvin Jacques moved to Philadelphia 5 years ago. He’s a Katrina survivor who says he has no plans on returning to New Orleans. Jacques admits he was warned to leave and he could have left, but something told him to stay.
“My purpose in staying was for me to save those that wasn’t able to save themselves,” said Jacques. “I often wonder about that. Why did I stay when I could have left?”
The 56-year-old accomplished drummer says he had to use a shovel to break through the roof of his three-story home, in order to reach the roof for safety. “I had to break holes through those ceilings to save us, and by coincidence I had to save other lives. I had 10 others with me.”
Jacques slept in the Superdome for days, listening to the stories of destitute people, some on the verge of committing suicide. After loosing his mother to Katrina, he decided to move to his girlfriend’s hometown of Philadelphia.
“I am very glad that I came to Philadelphia,” said Jacques. “It has been a pleasurable experience. I find the people passionate and considerate to what really went on with Katrina.”
As he looks back on the 5th year anniversary of one of the nation’s deadliest hurricanes, Jacques says people should never underestimate the power of a national disaster.