Denham Springs volunteer speaks on Irene, compares it to Katrina

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 5:19pm

One of the Red Cross volunteers lending a hand on the East Coast is Denham Springs resident, Steve Landry.

Steve spent the weekend with over 700 college students from other countries. They are working temporarily in the U.S. at beach hotels on Maryland's coast, and were evacuated ahead of the storm.

Steve says he got the call Friday night, and was in Baltimore the next day.

NBC33 caught up with him on the phone today, to see how they weathered the storm.

"Our job was to make them feel at home,” stated Landry. “I mean, it’s bad enough these kids are here working away from their countries… to go get stuck in a shelter with a hurricane coming, i mean, it's got to be pretty terrifying for them because they've never experienced anything like this.”

Landry went on to say it was almost eerie to watch Irene roll through, while remembering back six years ago, when Hurricane Katrina devestated the Gulf Coast.

He was a volunteer with the Red Cross back then too, spending ten months in shelters with Katrina evacuees, and the storm still haunts him today.

He says the toughest part is remembering the families stranded in the superdome, on roof tops, and in the middle of a national catastrophe.

"Just seeing the agony on those little kids faces.. And the parents - the parents were pretty hard core, but it was the kids that did most of the suffering during Katrina," said Landry.

Right now, Steve is heading north from his post in Maryland to other affected areas. He expects to spend the next 2-3 weeks helping people recover from Hurricane Irene.

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