[Kansas City.com] The last time they talked, Patrick Surtain tried to persuade his dad to leave.
“This is the real deal,” Surtain said. “This is the one.”
Three days later, Surtain’s silver cell phone sat in his locker at Arrowhead Stadium, silent. He hasn’t heard from his father, Alcede, since Sunday, before Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans. Eighty percent of his hometown is now under water. By late Wednesday, Surtain heard reports that thousands may be dead under the muck and mess of one of the country’s worst natural disasters.
Alcede wanted to stay behind with his house near the French Quarter.
“He, being stubborn, decided to stick it out,” Surtain said. “Hopefully, he got out.”
“It’s hard, man, but you’ve got to go to work. They say life goes on, but right now it’s just in slow motion. It’s standing still. You look at the pictures, and it’s not looking better. It’s only getting worse.”
A few lockers down, life went on for cornerback Ashley Ambrose as he waited for word from family. Ambrose, also a New Orleans native, played two stints with the Saints.
A stream of calls had been coming in from New Orleans, but of late Wednesday, he hadn’t heard from his sisters or nephews. He knows that his dad probably lost his house, which is in the low-lying Ninth ward. He doesn’t know much else.
“I didn’t really sleep much last night,” Ambrose said. “I’m trying to make sure I hear from everybody.”