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Hurricane survivor moves on with life

December 11, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -

Heather Lore left Kenner, La., a few days before Hurricane Katrina hit with a box of clothes and important papers, her two cats, a friend's rabbit and another friend's bird.

She later went back and retrieved the rest of her belongings from her home, which mostly was spared by the hurricane, and plans to make Martinsburg her home.

Lore's parents live in Inwood, W.Va.

Lore, 29, grew up in Herndon, Va., and moved to Louisiana with her family. She stayed after they left, living there for 17 years. Kenner is about 10 miles outside of New Orleans.

Although Lore would like to still live there, she said she doesn't want to face the prospect of coping with another hurricane.

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Lore considers herself lucky, since she knows others who lost everything to the storm.

When Lore, 29, returned to gather her belongings, she found trash everywhere and gutted buildings. To go inside Wal-Mart required getting through the National Guard.

"It was like a Third-World country," she said.

Now, Lore is volunteering with the Red Cross, which provided her and her boyfriend with clothes and food when they first arrived in Martinsburg.

Her boyfriend is working at Quad/Graphics, and Lore is set to graduate next spring from the University of New Orleans with a degree in hotel/restaurant management.

The university's campus is closed, but Lore and other students are able to take their classes online.

Recently, Lore has been volunteering at the Red Cross' gift-wrapping booth at Martinsburg Mall. One shopper, after receiving her wrapped present, complimented Lore's wrapping skills.

Lore said she felt compelled to volunteer with the Red Cross.

"It's a way of giving back," she said.

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