“It looked like they threw a bomb here,” Selina Gonzales of Yscloskey, Louisiana, says of the area her family has called home for generations. “Katrina took everybody’s house.”
In The Boatman, part of Time Inc. and Rampante’s New Orleans, Here & Now series, Selina and her husband, Joseph Gonzales, recall the ups and downs of their 71-year marriage – and the losses they experienced during Hurricane Katrina.
When Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, it destroyed the Gonzales’ tiny hometown, which is located in the St. Bernard Parish. The small community was completely devastated – houses were lost and memories floated away with the flood waters.
Selina and Joseph’s home was swept away by the destructive hurricane, and with it, a trove of family photos and memorabilia were lost.
One of the only things to survive was Joseph’s prized possession: A boat he began building – “without any blueprints” – 30 years ago.
Selina says she hopes her husband will be able to complete the project before he goes completely blind.
“I’m going to try my best,” Joseph says in the preview of the six-part anthology documentary series, which features real stories of life 10 years after Hurricane Katrina.
“We’re hoping you can get it in the water before another hurricane comes,” Selina says, while her husband adds, “That you can’t count on, you don’t know what’s going to happen in life.”
Since the storm, the longtime couple has rebuilt their house and placed their remaining family treasures in a backpack – ready to be taken with them in case of another hurricane.
To view the rest of the powerful series, go to Time.com.