For some, Hurricane Harvey brings back vivid and traumatic memories of Hurricane Katrina
Pictures and video taken in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey are reminding many of people of another devastating hurricane: Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Dr. Robert Kuske was in the wrong place at the wrong time, when it came to that infamous hurricane. Dr. Kuske, currently a Radiation Oncologist at Honor Health in Scottsdale, was giving a speech at a medical conference when Katrina hit, and said the images he saw while trapped in his hotel will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Dr. Kuske also said that seeing what is happening in Texas has conjured up some of those terrible memories.
"I had tears in my eyes watching TV," said Dr. Kuske.
Dr. Kuske recounted the days he spent stranded in a New Orleans hotel, following Katrina.
"I had plans to leave the day before, and they shut down the airport," said Dr. Kuske. "So, I was stuck there."
Dr. Kuske ended up trapped in the city for five days and five nights.
"You open the blinds and say, 'oh my god, how am I going to get out of here?" recounted Dr. Kuske. "My rental car was completely submerged, so I had no way to get out. You couldn't walk out because you were in four feet of water, so we just hunkered down. We had to police ourselves. We had to organize rationing food, rationing water. It was a life changing experience. We were out of water. One person had filled up a bathtub and we dished water out of the bathtub. It was survival mode."
Dr. Kuske said he witnessed things he still doesn't want to talk about.
"I know now what PTSD is," said Dr. Kuske. "I could not even mention it, or somebody mention it to me, without bawling. There were more horrific things that happened that I would not care to share."
After five days of being stuck with no electricity and no running water, the guests in the hotel were rescued.
"When I left New Orleans, I had to leave, I had to carry my suitcase over my head through four feet of water 12 blocks to get to buses that took us out of New Orleans," said Dr. Kuske.
Dr. Kuske told me he has returned many times to new orleans since katrina -- in fact, he's heading back there next week.