Katrina Victim: "Come on up here to Chattanooga!" - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Katrina Victim: "Come on up here to Chattanooga!"

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Some Chattanoogans are closely watching weather reports as Tropical Storm Isaac rolls relentlessly toward the U.S. mainland.

Wednesday will mark seven years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall as a category 3, setting off a nightmare in New Orleans and changing many communities along the Gulf Coast, in Louisiana and Mississippi, forever.

Some who were forced to escape that storm ended up in the Tennessee Valley and many decided to stay. 

This storm's path and the upcoming somber anniversary has one man saying prayers for family still in New Orleans.

"There were 23 of us living in the home, if you can believe that," Michael Adams says.

Michael Adams remembers the time, seven years ago, when he and his family fled New Orleans.

"Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and destroyed much of the city that I love very dearly, and that's how I ended up in Chattanooga," Adams says. "And it's been a blessing ever since."

Adams had a brother to stay with here in the Scenic City. His brand new house in the "Big Easy" was destroyed.

"To this day, it still seems unbelievable that there was water over the roofs of those homes in this really nice community," he says. "It blows my mind, still."

But Adams was able to start over, and is known by the locals as "Chef Mike" of the Southside's Blue Orleans restaurant.

"It was an opportunity to bring a small part of what's very special about New Orleans, the cuisine and the culture, here to Chattanooga," Adams says.

To this day, when storms threaten the Gulf, Adams pays closer attention to news and weather reports.

August of 2005 is burned into his memory. 

Nearly 1,500 perished as victims of the storm and the flood waters.  While over a hundred thousand were able to get out of New Orleans, many stayed in the city.

"Chattanooga is a great place to raise a family," Adams says. "I wish more families could have ended up here, but I'm glad for the ones that did."

As Chef Mike watches the reports and tracks Isaac along its strangely familiar path, he issues this invitation: "I speak on behalf of Chattanooga saying, if there's a problem, come on up here to Chattanooga!"

You can track Tropical Storm Isaac, and any other storm this season with the Hurricane Tracker, here at WRCBtv.com.

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