Favre finally hears from mother, brothers in Miss.

Updated: August 31, 2005, 7:57 AM ET
Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Mississippi family home of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre was flooded by Hurricane Katrina within a matter of minutes and his mother and grandfather rode out the storm in the attic, the team said Tuesday.

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Favre spent most of the last two days nervously waiting to hear from family members in his hometown of Kiln, Miss., in the heart of the Gulf Coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

The Packers said Favre finally spoke to his mother, Bonita, late Tuesday afternoon when she was able to reach him with the help of a Houston television station in the area covering hurricane damage.

According to the team, Favre said his mother reported spending Monday night in the family attic, along with his grandmother, after the house filled up with water within a matter of 5-10 minutes, much like a tsunami.

On Tuesday, the water receded enough that she was able to leave the family home and go to his brother Jeff's nearby house, which is slightly higher and away from the water.

Bonita Favre told Brett that Hurricane Camille, which the family experienced in 1969, didn't compare to this one and the damage it has caused.

She indicated the family home is destroyed and probably will have to be bulldozed, but the good news is that everyone in the family appears to be fine.

Bonita, Jeff and another brother, Scott, decided against evacuating and instead gathered at Favre's childhood home in Hancock County, one of the areas hit hardest by the hurricane. Favre said his grandmother, aunt and other family members also were there.

Favre said earlier Tuesday that he spoke to his wife, Deanna, Monday night and again Tuesday morning. He said she and their two children, 16-year-old Brittany and 6-year-old Breleigh, are safe at Favre's home in Hattiesburg, 60 miles north of Kiln, although their property had extensive damage.

Favre's mother was seven months pregnant with him when Hurricane Camille, which killed 256 people in Louisiana and Mississippi in 1969, struck the area.

"I've seen pictures," Favre said. "The damage was unbelievable."

Favre said the fact his family waited out Camille likely factored into their decision not to evacuate this time. Favre said 50 or so family members and friends drove north to his Hattiesburg home, but his mother and brothers declined.

Kiln "is far enough inland that [you would think] there's no way a tidal surge would ever come that far," Favre said.

Favre admitted he was "kind of going through the motions" in practice Tuesday while waiting to hear from family members and said he plans to go home to Mississippi following Thursday night's preseason finale at Tennessee.

He said he could get permission from coach Mike Sherman to skip the game altogether and fly there immediately, but his wife told him there's no point because the area is unreachable.

The hurricane is the latest in a string of personal tragedies and misfortunes that have hit Favre over the past 20 months.

In December 2003, his father Irvin died of a heart attack. Last October, his brother-in-law was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Favre's property. And a few days after her brother's death, Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I've found myself over the last 24 hours a couple times saying, 'Why me?' Or, 'Why of all places ..."' Favre admitted. "As quickly as that thought pops in my head -- and it probably pops in my head more than I'd like it to -- I try to remind myself of the things to be thankful for, which there are a lot."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press