I lived on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain during Katrina. We were among those that decided not to evacuate. We had a full house for the next few weeks, among them my two brothers, my mom, grandma and my 95 year old grandfather, and my older cousin. We also had dogs, a cat, and a black swan on our property to care for.\r\nI remember when the storm hit, and all the 100ft pine trees around my house snapping like toothpicks. My brother and I had the chainsaw and blue tarp ready in case one should fall on the roof. My Grandmother had just bought a brand new car after having here Honda for 15 years. Halfway through the storm a pine tree fell and totaled it by crushing the roof in on it. Unfortunately, that was the least of her troubles. Her house was on Vicksburg street in Lakeview, one of the areas flooded by the storm. I remember the storm passing by and getting news reports that there was NO flooding in Lakeview... then only an hour or so later we heard on out radio that the 17th street canal levee had faltered and lakeview was doomed. I thought we had it bad with 30+ 100ft pine trees strewn about our property, none of which hit the house thankfully. We had a Genny, but it was only strong enough to run our well pump and fridge and freezer, and maybe a little TV. Ever since Katrina, sleeping in the hot humid Louisiana climate no longer phases me. No one was allowed in the lakeview area, we couldn\'t even see the damage and our minds could only wonder. When we finally did get access, all of us were stunned. I could never have imagined the sight and smell of a flooded house until that day. I never want to experience that again. My grandparents had no flood insurance like many in the area, and it eventually took two years of hard work to get their house restored. I remember partying with my friends at the football game and having a few beers on a Friday night, and then showing up bright and early (and a tad hungover) the next morning at my grandmothers to help my uncle gut the last few items in the house.I thought they would never be back in their house, I was glad to be proven wrong.\r\nIn July of 2010, my Grandfather at 99 and a half, passed away very peacefully with all my family there holding his hands. My uncle tells me how glad he was that \"the old man\" was able to enjoy his house for a little bit before he died. It makes me happy too. \r\nThere was one night right after the storm hit, and power was out everywhere in my area, that I was able to clearly see the stars. I had never seen them like that in my front yard. It reminded me of the time I spent in Croatia (and my father who had died just 6 months before), where the stars are the most beautiful I have ever seen. I remember looking up and thinking, \"This will all one day pass, I have not a clue when, but one day we will all look back on all this and say the people of New Orleans are hardheaded and proud. Because of this they were able to bring there city back from the brink, resurrect it from the dead.\" I suddenly became exuberantly proud of the fact that I was born in New Orleans, and no matter where I end up in life, I will always come back.