The New Orleans man, nearly 90 years old, feebly made his way into Ken Bellau’s fiberglass fishing boat. Once onboard, he quietly asked Bellau to check on his grandson.
Bellau agreed, motoring slowly down the street. He didn’t see anybody needing rescue. He was hot and anxious, and had already been in the water too long that day in 2005.
Then he spotted the body, a teenage boy face-down in the water. The old man had watched the boy tread water, panic when something caught his leg, drown and then float in silence for days. The old man made the sign of the cross, and Bellau hit the motor and moved on.
In New Orleans, moving on is what survivors of Hurricane Katrina are expected to do. Ten years later, the recovery is so strong in certain parts of the city that visitors might never know what happened. But for people like Bellau, Katrina remains close.