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Voices of Katrina

Survivors remember the day their lives changed forever.

Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, bringing with it an immense storm surge and winds over 120 miles per hour.

The massive eyewall of the storm directly hit the Mississippi coast where Leonard Papania, a police officer and resident, immediately began search and rescue.

Sixty miles west, the natural disaster turned into a manmade catastrophe when the levee system protecting New Orleans broke down, covering 80 percent of the city in at least 10 feet of water. Called the worst engineering failure in US history, the flooding killed hundreds of people and rendered hundreds of thousands homeless.

The Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood was one of the worst-hit parts of the city — only one in five of its residents have returned. Following the disaster, the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum collected oral histories about Hurricane Katrina from residents of the neighborhood. The video above paints a picture of what survivors across the Gulf Coast experienced during the storm and its aftermath.


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