BY IVY SMITH GUILER AND JENNY PARSONS

As Greg Avery and Glenda Perkins boarded a flight heading out of New Orleans, they had no idea where they would land.

Across the aisle from them, a woman in her 30s wept uncontrollably. A man in his early 20s, sitting just a few seats down from the couple, had a look of fear on his face. He asked Greg if he could borrow his headset to listen to music and get his mind off of what had happened.

Every seat on that flight was filled. All had survived Hurricane Katrina.

During the three-hour flight, rumors of their destination swept through the plane. Most thought they were going to North Carolina, a place Greg, 53, and Glenda, 52, always had wanted to visit.

But once they arrived at Charleston’s Yeager Airport, they were told they were in West Virginia – a state they had all heard of, but weren’t exactly sure of its location. Glenda thought it was somewhere near Alaska.

A day before the hurricane hit on Aug. 29, the couple, who had lived together for 10 years, helped evacuate his mother and her two sisters from Uptown New Orleans. Their families ended up in Texas.

But Greg and Glenda decided to wait out the storm.

“We knew there were elderly people in the neighborhood that didn’t leave,” he said. “We knew they would need help.”

The storm hit just before midnight.

“It was frightening, terrifying — the sounds,” he recalled. “We had a screeching sound that was going from the front of the house to the back. Every two to three minutes it would start over again, for hours.”

They found out later the screeching was a loose gutter.

Chunks of sheet rock started falling in the kitchen. Soon parts of the ceiling from every room were hitting the floor.

They were afraid to sleep that night, wondering if the ceiling was going to fall on their heads. “Every now and then you would hear crashing glass,” Greg said. “It was the slates flying off of our house. They were like Frisbees.”