Isaac: Metro Detroiter ready to house her family, if necessary - KMSP-TV

Isaac: Metro Detroiter ready to house her family, if necessary

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Melissa McClain  (Credit: WJBK | Melissa McClain (Credit: WJBK |

MyFox Detroit Reporter

OXFORD, Mich. (MyFox Detroit) -- Tropical Storm Isaac is heading towards the Gulf Coast as the anniversary of Katrina approaches. Meanwhile, metro Detroiter Melissa McClain says her door is open should her family find they need a place to stay.

Wednesday marks the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most destructive storms in the nation's history. People who live in metro New Orleans know that a Category 1 storm with 74 to 95 mile an hour winds pales in comparison to Katrina, which was a Category 3 when it slammed into New Orleans on August 29, 2005 bringing winds of 140 miles an hour that pushed water onto land through storm surge.

McClain was born and brought up in that city. Her roots are easy to see in her Oxford home. She's prepared to host her family here in Michigan, if necessary.

"They didn't evacuate then either. They didn't want to until the very last possible second, and they actually came up here and stayed with my parents, a lot of my family did. Thank goodness they did get out. I'm hoping that... if there is a need to get out, they don't wait to the last minute."

Her cousin-in-law, Dr. Douglas Walker, a therapist who is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, has been called on through the years to help people get through the trauma of a storm. He lives in the metro New Orleans area.

"We've gathered all the flashlights in the house, made sure the batteries were working. We went out and got our water, and we are making extra ice. We are preparing for no power," he told us by phone.

Walker is helping his family and others get through this eerie anniversary.

"Because it's occurring on the seventh year anniversary, they're probably seeing it a little bit more dire and probably dialing it up in their heads (to) Category 2 or 3. Again, this is not Katrina."

Not Katrina, but still a storm that needs to be reckoned with. Just like with Katrina, airlines are being effected by Isaac. In fact, 850 flights have been canceled to and from Florida because of this storm, and now it's New Orleans' turn. We understand that most airlines are suspending flights after Monday night. Delta is saying they will waive any change fees if you have a flight to and from New Orleans in the next few days.

When McClain hears Category 1, does she worry?

"Category 1 I think is not as worrisome. I think it's when you get into the 2, 3, 4."

Isaac is less organized than Katrina. The McClain family is hoping headlines about New Orleans under siege by a storm dissipate as quickly as the storm itself.

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