John Heidenreich's Family Found Safe; Update Inside


New Orleans native John Heidenreich finally spoke to his wife and kids over the weekend. They're now staying with his mother in Picayune, Mississippi, after the house they were staying at in Slidell, Louisiana, was ruined by Katrina.


His father Ronald is recovering in Harahan, Louisiana. Both of his father s homes withstood the hurricane, although he is without power and low on essentials like food and water. Heidenreich has yet to talk to his dad, but other friends have relayed promising updates about his health and the condition of his house.

Heidenreich, who had his entire hometown leveled and most of his immediate family displaced by Hurricane Katrina last week, is heading home Wednesday to personally assess the damage.

I m anxious, Heidenreich told Tuesday. I want to see what all of this is going to look like up close and not on television.

Heidenreich, who lives in Meterie, Louisiana, will land at the Mobile, Alabama, airport Wednesday morning, where his wife will pick him up and drive him into New Orleans.


I m going to bring down as much food and water and supplies as I can for my dad and my family, Heidenreich said. I have to see what s going on and check out my own house. I m going to try and recover as much as I can.

Heidenreich will collect as many valuables as he can, including his cat Caramella, and drive back to Louisville, where he s temporarily staying at a hotel.

Louisville, or possibly Atlanta, could soon become the full-time home for Heidenreich and his family. With New Orleans and its surrounding areas so damaged by the hurricane, Heidenreich has a hard time envisioning a healthy future in the city.

I m probably going to move to one of those cities, Heidenreich said. I need some time to find a place, but I m probably going to move.