St. Martin

Jul 30, 2013 12:48 AM by Chris Welty

Second Line Reunion

Nearly eight years ago, Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

In the aftermath of the story, an Acadiana couple brought their airboat to the Crescent City. They were able to get around police, and on their own, rescued more than one thousand people.

Monday, that couple was reunited with dozens of the families they helped rescue.

In true New Orleans fashion, Doug Bievenue and his girlfriend Drue LeBlanc were welcomed back to the Holly Grove neighborhood where they rescued more than one thousand people.

"It's joy, it's laughter and hurt all in one. I look at these houses where I cut out attics and ran over rooftops saving people, but so much was lost and lots of people died," said Doug Bievenu.

The sights and sounds from the storm are still etched into Drue LeBlanc's mind; "We were pulling up to rooftops where people would jump into our boat from there."

Neighbors praise the couple's work and say angels were sent to them, "They were sent from God. I know they were sent from God to save me and these people," said Wade "Cooke" Bloodworth.

Cooke, met Doug and Drue after being rescued by boat. He went back into the disaster zone to help Doug and Drue navigate their boat through the neighborhood.

"We rescued the old and the sick people first," said Cooke.

Bienvenu doesn't consider himself as a hero saying, "I just feel like we were God sent and we did what we were supposed to."

Cooke has since moved on from New Orleans, now living in Los Angeles, never forgetting the tragedy of the storm, but also the good people he met.

"I'm still troubled and wounded, torn up inside. I haven't healed yet. This experience today though is helping me to go on with my life," said Cooke.

Cooke and his family hope to return home to New Orleans by December. Tuesday night at ten, details on the Cajun Navy documentary highlighting the rescue.

Chris Welty


Click here to order the Trent Angers book An Airboat on the Streets of New Orleans.


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