When I took my son to his guitar lesson, I met one of the guitar instructors who is from New Orleans. The instructor said his niece survived the hurricane in one the parishes in Louisiana. He talked to her on the phone recently. This is the niece's account:
A whole community of people assembled in the high school gymnasium to ride out the hurricane. The bleachers were full of people. The one hundred plus MPH winds knocked out all the windows. The water entered the gymnasium foot by foot. People on the lower bleachers tried to climb higher, but the upper bleachers were already full. As the storm surge rose to fourteen feet, people started to drown en mass. When the water was high enough, the niece was able to swim out the gymnasium window into the one hundred MPH winds. She said she saw a one-year old baby float past her face down.