Story Corps

Keith Anderson

Keith Anderson’s evacuation from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was an adventure defined by perseverance, luck and loss. Once Keith was able to evacuate to safety, he was forced to leave behind everything he owned including his 18 year old dog, “Fluffy”.

Keith Anderson was born and raised in the Carrollton community in New Orleans. When Hurricane Katrina was threatening, Keith chose to stay and protect his home. Keith is a musician and had thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments plus all the other items of personal property he wanted to protect. As the water started to consume his home, Keith moved the instruments to higher and higher places….on top of tables and chest of drawers. The water kept rising forcing Keith and his 18-year-old Chow-mix named “Fluffy”, to the attic. He knew they were in trouble, but had no way of knowing how extensive the flooding was or what their fate might be. After a day, a rescue boat arrived to evacuate Keith and his neighbors to a school a few blocks away. It became a temporary shelter for dozens of people forced from their homes because of rising floodwater. Keith was able to bring “Fluffy” with him, but other neighbors had to leave their pets behind. Those separated from their pets expressed great concern for their welfare, so Keith spent the next couple of days venturing back into his neighborhood to rescue stranded and abandoned dogs. He brought them to the shelter to reconnect with their owners. Ironically, when it came time for Keith and his neighbors to be evacuated from the school, they had to leave all their cherished dogs behind. Keith finally made it to a place on I-10 where he could board a bus to Houston. As he rode to safety, leaving the hellish destruction behind, he had a chance to think about the unbelievable few days he’d just survived and he wondered what would become of his home, his belongings and his cherished companion, “Fluffy”.

For more information or if you would like to tell your story to KUHF, contact Paul Pendergraft at PPendergraft@KUHF.org.

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Fujio Watanabe

Media Productions Manager

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