SAN ANTONIO -- Two years before he took over the fire department in San Antonio, Chief Charles Hood was rescuing Hurricane Katrina survivors in a Black Hawk helicopter.
The horrible memories are fresh in his mind as Hurricane Isaac pummels New Orleans on Katrina's seven year anniversary.
Hood wasn't just on the front lines of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath, he was leading the rescue and recovery operation with a team of 20 others. The team set up shop in the Saints' locker room. Hood said he briefed the mayor on their efforts every day.
Hood now hopes that challenges they faced with Katrina won't be repeated with Hurricane Isaac, like massive flooding in the city's 9th Ward.
"After 17 days we were still picking people off the roofs and cutting them out of these attics," he said while flipping through a personal scrapbook from the tragedy.
"These are bodies here," he said, pointing to trees in one photograph.
Hood looked at another photo and mentioned that four people, three old ladies and a man, were found dead in their beds. "We would tie bodies up to posts," he said sadly.
"If we haven't learned from the past, everything that happened during Katrina was for nothing," he said.
However, Hood thinks Isaac will be different.
"I think we have learned," he said.
Hood was working for the Phoenix Fire Department during Hurricane Katrina.