When Hurricane Katrina reached New Orleans on August 25, 2005, it crushed the levees and flooded more than 80 percent of the city. The damage reached well beyond the Big Easy, however, leaving in its wake $81 billion in property damages to the Gulf Coast.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina, there is still a massive amount of rebuilding and recovery to be done. Take a look at some striking images from the devasted area, then and now.
Posted August 25, 2010
AUGUST 18, 2010: (Left) Willi Lee, 84, sits inside his Pearlington, Miss., home damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Lee says he wants to rebuild and has received the funds to do so, but cannot find a trustworthy builder.
MAY 25, 2006: (Right) Lee, 79, stands inside his home. He attempted to ride out the storm in the house but eventually was washed outside by flooding where he was able to cling to a tree limb for hours until the floodwater subsided. Lee says a poisonous water moccasin snake clung to the limb next to him the entire time. The eye of Hurricane Katrina passed directly over Pearlington, located approximately midway between New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss.
AUGUST 21, 2010: (Top) The New Orleans Saints look on during a preseason game against the Houston Texans at the Superdome in New Orleans.
SEPTEMBER 2, 2005: (Bottom) Stranded victims of Hurricane Katrina rest inside the Superdome, which became a makeshift shelter for hurricane victims.
AUGUST 19, 2010: (Top) The cemetery outside Saint Patrick's Church in Louisiana's Port Sulphur in Plaquemines Parish looks much like it did pre-Katrina.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2005: (Bottom) Water floods the above-ground cemetery outside Saint Patrick's Church in Plaquemines Parish.
AUGUST 23: (Top) Robert Fontaine at the scene where he fled a burning house fire in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 23, 2010, in New Orleans. Fontaine said he stayed in the house to take care of dogs who were left behind. He was using candles due to a lack of electricity when one of the dogs knocked over a candle, causing the fire. Fontaine said, "My whole life, my whole world crashed. For everyone, not just for me."
SEPTEMBER 6: (Bottom) Fontaine walks away from the burning house fire in the New Orleans' Seventh Ward.
AUGUST 19, 2010: (Top) A statue of the Virgin Mary stands in an above-ground cemetery in this city south of New Orleans.
FEBRUARY 23: (Bottom) A statue of the Virgin Mary and an opened crypt are seen at the above-ground cemetery in Buras. The cemetery was flooded during Hurricane Katrina causing a number of coffins to float away from their crypts.
AUGUST 23, 2010: (Top) Cars travel over a bridge crossing the Industrial Canal to the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans.
AUGUST 31, 2005: (Bottom) Two men paddle in high water by the bridge crossing the Industrial Canal to the Lower Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina devastated the area.
AUGUST 20, 2010: (Top) Young residents play football near their home in a new development built by the Make it Right Foundation in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. The Make it Right Foundation is constructing homes for families who lost theirs in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath.
FEBRUARY 24, 2006: (Bottom) A group of Amish student volunteers tour the devastated Ninth Ward.
AUGUST 20, 2010: (Top) The reconstructed levee wall as seen from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.
APRIL 25, 2006: (Bottom) Workers rebuild the levee breached by Hurricane Katrina's flood waters along the Industrial Canal in the Lower Ninth Ward. Repair work continues on the New Orleans levees.
AUGUST 19, 2010: (Top) A sign asking for information about unidentified coffins that floated out of their crypts during flooding after Hurricane Katrina still stands at a Buras, La., above-ground cemetery.
FEBRUARY 23, 2006: (Bottom) The sign, newly erected, after flooding from Hurricane Katrina.
AUGUST 24, 2010: (Top) This aerial of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans shows newly constructed homes by the Make it Right Foundation.
AUGUST 25, 2006: (Bottom) This aerial shows the devastated Lower Ninth Ward with the city skyline in the background.