Milwaukee man survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005

Posted at 4:48 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 18:24:17-04

The images from Houston are bringing back troubling memories for some people who survived a similar disaster.

There may be no one in Milwaukee who knows what the people of Houston are going through better than Gregory Johnson.

"I’ve been through it. It took me a couple years just to get over it," Johnson says.

After 26 years in New Orleans, the catastrophe called Katrina sent him back here to his hometown.

“Yep, Hurricane Katrina success story, I will say that.”

He calls himself that, in part, because he survived and ultimately opened his "The Big Eazy" restaurant. Now he's in a fight to keep the doors open after a battle over back taxes and an accountant who says he skipped town.

“Now we’re on the verge of closing the dream down.  It just brings back the Hurricane Katrina, losing everything,” Johnson reflected.

Even turning on the TV is tough.

“It’s painful. If anybody’s ever been through a major storm - not a storm - a major storm, you never come out of it the same,” he admits.

Sadly, as he witnesses horrific scenes in Houston, haunting memories come flooding back.

“I got like 10 friends I had in New Orleans, I can’t find them.  I don’t know what happened to them, where they’re at, I can’t find them since Hurricane Katrina,” he claims.