New Orleans continues cleanup on the 2nd Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

by Kristen Dahlgren
NBC News

Wednesday marks the second anniversary that Hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi killing more than 1,600 people.

Observances were held across the region to remember that day and those who were lost.
At 9:38, a moment of silence marked the time the first levee was breached, the second a city was forever changed.
Two years after Hurricane Katrina there is silence in many places.

Abandoned homes, washed out businesses still sitting, with no sign that rebuilding will begin any time soon.
Where water once covered everything, it seems residents only trickle back.
There is some slow progress. On Wednesday, the President visited the first public school to reopen in New Orleans' lower ninth ward.
"This town is coming back, this town is better today than it was yesterday, and it's going to be better tomorrow than it was today," said Mr. Bush.       
But the screws and plywood may never be enough to rebuild all that Katrina took away.
"There was such a vast family structure here and it's been torn completely down. Generations have been displaced," said Yvonne Wise who lives in the 9th ward.

In Mississippi, 13,000 families are still living in FEMA trailers.

That's down from the 48,000 following the storm.
And of all the sounds you hear in hurricane ravaged areas, there is one that residents up and down the coast are unable to escape.

"Everywhere you go you hear the name Katrina," said 9th ward resident Joanne Smith-Thompson.

It's a constant reminder of how much was lost, and how much work still has to be done.