Hurricane Katrina survivor rebuilds home and life in New Orleans

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New Orleans continues to celebrate how far it has come since Hurricane Katrina hit ten years ago. As the storm made landfall and in the days that followed, 8News Anchor Amy Lacey was in Louisiana covering it for our station and others owned by our company. This week she is remembering some of the people she met, including one man who, to this day, is hailed a hero by his neighbors.

Images of flood waters, uprooted trees and other destruction are associated with Hurricane Katrina now, a decade later. There were also stories of survival.

Our 8News crew provided coverage from various locations in and around New Orleans during and after Katrina.
Our 8News crew provided coverage from various locations in and around New Orleans during and after Katrina.

Amy and photographer Mike Vielhaber met a man named Skip Boe along Interstate 610, days after his ordeal started and minutes after he was finally able to set foot on dry land again. The highway had become a boat ramp for rescue crews.  He was both the rescued and rescuer during Hurricane Katrina.

“I found this boat floating, just on the tail end, on the tail end of the hurricane.  It came floating down Louis XIV, where I live, I jumped out a second story window. Dove, swam toward the boat. I figured I might need it,” Boe shared in an August 30, 2005 interview with Lacey. “I heard screaming. I saved two, and I think one perished. I saved the two people on the corner, Miss John and Miss Marian.”

“What kept you going?” Lacey asked.

“Just the will to live, people beating and screaming at night and not being able to do anything about it,” Boe remembered. “I’ll never do this again, never ever.”

“All because of this,” he said, gesturing towards the boat that he was able to use to save lives.

An article posted earlier this month on provides an update about Boe. It says he has since rebuilt his house and still remembers one neighbor he wasn’t able to save, despite those who he was able to help.

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