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Fri, 2 Sep 2005, 03:17 PM

Hurricane Katrina Spares Angelle Sampey
Courtesy of Chris Dirato





MATHEWS, La. -- Hurricane Katrina Spares Angelle Sampey U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle pilot, Angelle Sampey, is fully aware that she's one of the fortunate few who were able to stare down Hurricane Katrina and live to tell about it.

"Considering that my family and I are fine and that my house suffered just minor damage, I definitely have nothing to complain about compared to what others are going through right now," said an emotional three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion.

Sampey, who will compete in this weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, knows it could have been an entirely different story if not for her mother insisting that she and her family leave the area as the category four monster storm took dead aim on Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

"My mom heard that we were going to take a direct hit, so we boarded up the house and took off as quickly as possible on Sunday afternoon," offered Sampey. "We decided to head for the Houston area. It took us 12 hours with all of the traffic. We finally arrived at 5 a.m., just before the storm was to hit at home."

Despite having the comfort of not being in the line of fire, Sampey could not resist the temptation to head back home as soon as possible to check on things.

"I think we were in our hotel for about three hours before we started back," she added. "As you might imagine, it took us less time to get home since everyone was going the other way to get away from everything."

Sampey was not sure what to expect as she slowly rolled into her neighborhood.

"I did not know if my house would be standing or not," she said. "I was relieved to see that only some siding on the back of the house came off and that there was not any flooding to speak of. Of course, we did not have power and still don't. We're not sure how long we'll have water either.

"Listen, I know that I was one of the lucky ones. It's a very, very bad situation in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. My heart goes out to all of those people and I'm hopeful that all of America responds to help out. I know I'm going to do all I can to assist."

While Sampey is bound and determined to make it to the site of the NHRA's most prestigious race, she knows a piece of her mind will be elsewhere throughout her stay.

"I want to race, but rest assured that I will also be thinking about my family and everyone down in my area," she said. "They will never be far from my thoughts."





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