Triangle men talk about Barry flooding and seeing Katrina destruction


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS 17 talked with two men Friday as Tropical Storm Barry continued moving closer to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

For John Tedesco, he’s happy to be back home in Garner after seeing flooding throughout New Orleans while there on a business trip earlier this week. 

“It left something that was heartbreaking,” Tedesco said. “When eight inches of rain poured down in three hours, and the streets began getting severely flooded, you could see the worry and trouble on the locals’ faces.”

With Barry expected on the way, Tedesco knew he had to get back to the Triangle. But he said getting out of the “Big Easy” wasn’t so easy when officials initiated evacuation orders Wednesday.

“A lot of the airports started canceling all of the flights. There was limited access to get out,” Tedesco said. “I feel fortunate, but at the same I feel a little sort of concerned and heartbroken, for all those folks left behind.”

For Dave Severance, Barry conjures up memories of living near New Orleans. He evacuated the morning Hurricane Katrina came through nearly 14 years ago. 

“It brings back memories of, ‘Okay. I live in my house. What can I fit to take’,” Severance said.  

He recalls going back to his Metairie, Louisiana apartment a month after Katrina hit.

“There were carcasses of animals laid out on the road. I’m driving down the road, and you can see boats that had been washed up on top of people’s homes,” he said. “It’d be like leaving Raleigh, and a month later, coming back after you’ve been on a nice long vacation, and over half the population of Raleigh is gone.”

Heading into this weekend, both Severance’s and Tedesco’s hearts are with those in Louisiana. 

Tedesco also encourages people within the Triangle to help with donations to organizations for those impacted by Barry.

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