BLUE REMEMBERS: Hurricane coverage

As we prepare to say goodbye to our fellow News Ten anchor Blue Rolfes, we’re taking a look back at some of the most memorable moments of her career.
Tonight, Blue shares her memory of what it was like to cover her first natural disaster, and why one particular tropical storm hit close to home.

I remember being sent out to cover my first hurricane not long after being hired as a reporter here at KLFY.  I was so excited to be heading out to cover my first hurricane and thankful that I was traveling with a veteran photographer who knew the ropes and would be able to show me the most effective way to cover the storm.  Then I remember getting that sinking feeling that every reporter feels when they’re heading into hurricane coverage.  You’re practically the only vehicle on the interstate heading in one direction, while thousands of other people are fleeing the storm in the opposite direction.  You do briefly question your sanity!  But this is what we do, we try to be your eyes and ears so you can stay informed about what’s happening and what you need to know to stay safe.  It’s a responsibility we take very seriously.

Covering Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 were definitely overwhelming.  To see the devastation just to the east of us in New Orleans, and then to have thousands of evacuees arrive in Acadiana, desperate for help.  I’m so proud of how the people of Acadiana responded while the Cajundome became a shelter and a working hospital to care for the evacuees.  Then just weeks later, to see the devastation and tragedy that Rita brought to Southwest Louisiana was just horrible.
I think the two storms that hit most close to home were Hurricane Andrew and Tropical Storm Lilly.  Although Lilly was a lesser storm, it affected our family the most.  We were out of power for 16 days.  I learned a valuable lesson in chainsaw safety after Lilly.  Dee and I were just finishing clearing out the last of the trees in our yard when my hand slipped and I accidentally amputated a finger on my right hand.  We took it with us to the hospital, and the wonderful Dr. Ken Odinet sewed it back on and now it works great. Now that’s a memory I will never forget!”

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