Bogalusa man survived flood

Published 1:06 am Saturday, August 29, 2015

Though the world focused on New Orleans’ devastation after the levees broke on Aug. 29, 2005, during Hurricane Katrina, former Mireaux resident Angelo Saladino Sr. found himself fighting for his life from all the high water that fateful morning.

Saladino, now 74, has lived in Bogalusa on Willow Road since 2007.

He lived on Nancy Drive in Mireaux for 32 years. Floodwaters from the nearby Intercoastal Waterway and Mississippi River Gulf Outlet — commonly referred to as Mr. Go — inundated his St.Bernard Parish home, located approximately 15 miles from New Orleans.

“Water came in so fast we couldn’t even get the boat out,” he said. “It took 15 minutes to get 12 feet of water in the house. I should have heeded the warnings and left. I don’t know where I found the strength to get on the roof, but I did.”

Along with four other family members and a pet, Saladino escaped to the roof where they remained for six hours before they were rescued by boat by members of the Mireaux Fire Department.
“It was sad to see something you worked your whole life for disappear in 15 minutes,” Saladino said of his home. “For six hours we didn’t move. The rain was like needles sticking in you.”

While on the roof, Saladino recalled the scene all around him.

“When I got to the crown of the house and looked across the street, my neighbor, Andrew, was outside hanging onto his boat,” he said. “He is a heavy guy. He said his wife went back inside for the dog. He said he dove three times looking for (his wife), but couldn’t find her. She drowned.”

From the roof, Saladino and family members were carried to another house nearby. From there, they went to Chalmette Stadium where they remained for three days.

“The only thing we had during all that time were potato chips and water,” Saladino said.

Saladino’s group was scheduled to be bused to Texas, but there was no room for evacuees there. They eventually wound up in Oklahoma where they stayed for approximately a week. Saladino lived in Belle Chasse and Grenada, Miss., after the storm.

Saladino said he has enjoyed living in Washington Parish.

“I have met some terrific people here,” he said.