CHHS Principal Looks Back on Hurricane Katrina Experience

2005  2013
Conrad Streeter in 2005 (L) and 2013 (R)
As the nation marks 10 years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the principal at Colleyville Heritage High School has first-hand memories of the killer storm. Conrad Streeter was deployed with the Texas Army National Guard as part of the disaster recovery effort.
Streeter was mobilized on August 31, 2005 and arrived in New Orleans within 72 hours after Katrina made landfall. Setting up not far from Tulane University, Streeter’s unit began immediate work to help victims of the hurricane.
“The city had no electricity, plumbing or water and at that time 80 percent of the city was underwater,” Streeter recalled. “We helped with rescue and recovery and we also helped with security.”
Streeter says he had no idea how bad it would be.
“The devastation and destruction was worse than any of us thought. To know that tens of thousands of people lost their whole life, their homes, everything gone,” Streeter says.
Even in such tragic circumstances, the CHHS principal says there were some stories of inspiration.
“We met men and women from New York, California, Pennsylvania, fire crews, police crews, search and rescue guys that would come in and they would cook for us and assist us,” said Streeter. “And we met a lot of local people who were very appreciative of the effort we were giving.”
As an educator, Streeter says he brought back many life lessons that he has passed on to students and fellow teachers and administrators. The most important one being that no matter how tough a time you’re having, somebody else is having a worse go of it.
“It illustrates the undeniable human spirit. We met people in genuinely horrible conditions and the moment you gave them a little ray of hope their whole attitude switched over and they were grateful to be alive and grateful to have their health and nothing else mattered,” explained Streeter.