Video: Residents to get first look at Katrina damage

By Brian Williams Anchor & “Nightly News” managing editor
NBC News
updated 11/30/2005 7:46:58 PM ET 2005-12-01T00:46:58

The recovery effort never came to this part of New Orleans. This is the land that time forgot. The people are long gone, the water has receded, and here it all sits.

There are no signs of life for blocks on end. The staggering scenes of crushed and tossed cars — that all represent such violence — also, over time, seem to roll into one.

"No more kids around," says one man in the Lower Ninth Ward. "No friends. Everybody gone."

It is difficult to believe that some of the families who will finally be allowed back into this neighborhood on Thursday will be seeing this for the first time since Katrina.

When the levee gave way, the water came in here with a vengeance. And so many of the houses here bear a poignant kind of scar. The locals instantly know what it means: the hole in the roof — where the only way out was straight up. During those awful days, a hole big enough for a human was a path to the sky. It made the difference between living and dying. These days, in the Lower Ninth Ward, it's the neighborhood that's been left to die.

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