New Orleans can thank its lucky stars for dodging a potentially serious situation — or more like, star.
Actor Keanu Reeves reportedly rented a boat late Friday evening, taking it into the Gulf, and approached the enigmatic Hurricane Barry while it was mere hours away from crashing the Louisiana coast, forever changing the storm’s trajectory.
“It (Barry) was so slow because it didn’t know what it wanted to be despite all these media people telling it what it should be, and Keanu, the saintly soul he is, sensed it was struggling with its development,” said Colonel Chelcie Oats, Director of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness in St. Tammany Parish, who met the actor at Regal Cinemas Covington 14 just after Reeves had stopped an armed robbery. It wouldn’t be the first or last time the “John Wick” actor would happily lend a hand.
Barry, which came ashore as a hurricane but was quickly downgraded, had almost no impact on the city after meeting Reeves. The storm originally threatened to create an unprecedented weather situation in New Orleans with massive flooding from a swollen Mississippi River and heavy rainfall but pretty much none of it materialized thanks to the intervention of Reeves.
“I wanted this storm to know that it was not alone, that it mattered, and that I was there to help,” Reeves wrote Neutral Ground News in a text. Reeves added that, at that moment, his only mission in life was to be there for Barry.
Keanu Reeves, seen here stopping an armed robbery, is used to connecting in ways others can’t.
Through their conversation, he convinced the storm to refrain from the destiny so many in the national media had written for it, saying, “When you truly understand karma then you realize you are responsible for everything in your life. It is incredibly empowering to know that your future is in your hands.”
The storm, which was also profoundly struck by Reeves’ personal reflection of “the person who was holding me back from my happiness was me,” eventually decided not to become what so many others had projected it to be and left New Orleans virtually unscathed.
In 2014, he helped push someone’s car when it had broken down on a Los Angeles street. That same year, he returned a lost credit card to someone. Nearly a decade ago, he was filmed giving up his seat on the subway to a woman carrying a heavy bag. And just a few months ago he became the best travel companion on a bus ride with a bunch of stranded passengers after their plane made an emergency landing.
“For the longest time we didn’t know what the system was going to do,” said Savannah Summers, a coastal ecologist with the Gulf Water Authority in New Orleans. “Reeves connected with Barry in a way no one else ever had. He didn’t see the storm as the monster that so many others wanted it to be. He saw it as Barry.”
Barry, while not the storm predicted by many, is now happy following its own dreams — not the ones other people pushed it to — and plans to live a quiet life traveling the world once its current track is finished.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell spoke highly of Reeves, thanking him for his selflessness.
”He spoke to the storm as, not a fearful man or looking to influence its development, but a person who genuinely cared. The city of New Orleeens is now safe thanks to Mr. Keanu Reeves. Thank you for everything. We should all take heed from your example and ‘be excellent to each other.'”