Katrina Remembered

Everything you've owned, under feet of water.
Your home: gone. It's the same story for hundreds displaced by hurricane Katrina.

A single mother of two who's had her share of hard times...counts her blessings to have a home in southern Colorado and her life.

When it comes to stories about life touched by a hurricane, Tiffany Kersten has a million of them.

"The water came in underneath them, took their house away and they almost died," she said of a friend.

What her life was in Biloxi, Mississippi exists now in photographs of devastation: homes ripped apart, scattered by wind and wiped out by storm surge...some of it captured on video by a friend who decided to stay behind.

"A lot of my friends who were trying to be cool, and we're going to have hurricane parties and stick it out. I was scared," she said.

Tiffany's story is one of an evacuee.

In the early morning before Katrina bent toward Mississippi, Tiffany left home with her mom. If they'd waited, there'd be no way out.

"We were hearing streets that were totally obliterated and we were like, 'Oh my gosh, we know somebody who lives there!’" she remembered.

And if losing it all once wasn't bad enough, the unthinkable happened this summer, in her new home of Colorado.

A slow moving rainstorm washed out the house she shares with her parents and two young kids.

After the storm receded she said, "You start to think, ‘what have I done to be followed around by flood so much?’"

Tiffany says coping with both floods keeps her memories of Katrina fresh, so on the one-year anniversary the pain is still very real. But it's a positive attitude that keeps Tiffany going.

"I have to keep in mind I have my life. I have my kids and my family," she said.

She has them, and the chance mother nature's destruction could be a thing of her past.

"I hope I don't ever see water like that again," said Tiffany.

As for going back to make a home again in Biloxi...
Tiffany can't rule it out, but hasn't made her mind up either.


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