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It has been five years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Sadly, five years later, devastation continues to manifest itself throughout the ravaged city. In May, Amnesty International released a new report detailing the numerous human rights violations suffered by the people of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck land in 2005.

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By Shima, Age 18

You finally arrive at your home after what seemed like a year to discover it in not the condition you left it. Shingles are missing, a 6-inch thick carpet of muck is where your floor should be, and there is a foul and unidentifiable odor lingering in your living room. How did this happen?

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By Victoria T., age 14, Metaire, LA 


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By Sara, Age 18

Day one: nonchalant, day two: excited for change, day three: scared and confused, day four: complacent, optimistic, and intrigued as Hurricane Katrina bombarded my city.

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By Ginny W., Age 16

Not long ago I was a carefree high school freshmen, worrying if I would be ok in high school. The day before Katrina seemed like any other, except my mom had such sadness I won't ever forget it. It had started like any other hurricane prep day. We put the large plywood board over the window, and headed to my aunt's house in Baton Rouge. We threw a few changes of clothes and some flashlights and water in the car. The usual 1 hour drive took 6.

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By Leah, Age 13

This summer, as part of the Jewish community, I became a Bat-Mitzvah. This was a very moving experience and I decided that I wanted to share my happiness with other, less fortunate, people.

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By Jamie T.

In my opinion, Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst Hurricanes. It left thousands of people homeless and over 1050 dead. I feel very badly for the people that lost their homes, and even more, their loved ones. Many loved ones died, and many animals were abandoned.

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By Katie L., Age 17

I could barely see the boy for the deafening dim that echoed in the recently re-modeled gym. Toying with the red band the woman had snapped around my wrist, I did my best to keep my eyes on this stranger, ignoring everything else that had happened in the past few days. He seemed to be around my age, but without my contacts in I couldn’t be too sure. The boy was lying on his stomach on his cot, his head dropping over the end of the mattress his feet should’ve been on. Another boy – his brother, maybe – kneeled on the floor beside him; they were talking.

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By Lauren W.

While evacuating for Hurricane Katrina we thought it would be just like any other evacuation we had had in New Orleans. We’d be back in two or three days. However, when I first heard about Hurricane Katrina I didn’t pay much attention to it. On Friday August 26, my grandma picked me up from school just like any other day. When we got home we had been watching the news and it wasn’t anything good. Hurricane Katrina was already a category 5 and was heading straight for New Orleans.

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