Hurricane Katrina 5-year Anniversary — San Diegans Lend a Helping Hand

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With the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina yesterday, many San Diego area residents are turning their attention to the ongoing restoration of the areas most devastated by the catastrophic natural disaster.

One of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States, Katrina, caused considerable destruction along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas and absolutely decimated the historic city of New Orleans, Louisiana killing about 2,000 people and causing about $81 billion dollars of property damage overall. Now, five years later, many believe that New Orleans has recovered from that terrible ordeal. However, many areas of the city remain in ruins and thousands of displaced residents in Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi are still unable to return to their homes, living in homeless shelters and makeshift trailers.

In an effort to shed light on this issue and do their part, San Diego County residents are rolling up their sleeves, opening their wallets, and providing some comfort to those affected by Hurricane Katrina. While aid agencies are doing their part, everyday citizens are also playing a major role. According to 10 News, local San Diego students from the University of San Diego and High Tech High School are assisting in the recovery and restoration process, traveling to New Orleans in organized volunteer groups and helping to rebuild houses, working in soup kitchens, and partaking in other volunteer projects.

High Tech High School teacher Rachel Nichols told 10 News the trip has been a learning experience for the students: “We did take a tour of the Lower 9th Ward. I don’t think the students spoke for two hours after that trip. They were just so moved.”

USD student Chase Tushaus also cited the need for more awareness and aid to New Orleans: “It’s five years after the fact and it still needs a lot of help,” he said. “People on the West Coast don’t realize how bad the situation is.”

While it has been five years since Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans has made huge strides, both physically and emotionally, there is still work to do–and that’s where we all come in.

Photo from infrogmation via flickr

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