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Life Happened...

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Today on Life Happened...  Family Ties Before, During and After The Storm we remember 10 years into the past and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the impact of the storm and its aftermath on people and families. Host Tawana Cadien was inspired by a recent trip to a family reunion.  A tornado warning forced everyone at the reunion to the basement where they found the Family Bible published in 1850. This storm-shelter find ignited hours of sharing memories and family stories of the past, including the experiences of many family members who survived Katrina. On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused 53 different levee breaches in greater New Orleans, submerging eighty percent of the city. The storm surge also devastated the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, making Katrina the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, and the deadliest hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. The total damage from Katrina is estimated at $108 billion. The confirmed death toll is 1,836, with one fatality in Kentucky, two each in Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, 14 in Florida, 238 in Mississippi, and 1,577 in Louisiana. However, 135 people remain categorized as missing in Louisiana. The hurricane left an estimated three million people without electricity. On September 3, 2005, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff described the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "probably the worst catastrophe, or set of catastrophes," in the country's history, referring to the hurricane itself plus the flooding of New Orleans. Even in 2010, debris remained in some coastal communities. Now, in 2015, the effects of the devastation remain in the hearts and seared into the memories of many who survived it and many who witnessed the horror unfold and had to wait to render meaningful assistance.