Ten years ago, people around the country were glued to their television sets as Hurricane Katrina shattered New Orleans and other areas of the Gulf Coast. Entire neighborhoods were gone, dead bodies floated in the streets and people were crowded into the blazing hot Superdome, begging for clean water and information about what was happening.
More than 1,800 people died, and thousands more across three states were left stranded without food, electricity and water for days. It was a natural disaster that no one was fully prepared for, in any capacity.
One of Katrina’s most important legacies was the national debate it sparked about war, race and poverty in America.
It’s been 10 years since rapper Kanye West famously said “Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a live, televised charity fundraiser.
Ten years since then-President George W. Bush toured the disaster sites and said, “It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there wasn’t enough troops here.”
Ten years since CNN’s Anderson Cooper slammed then-Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) over the political response to the storm.
And 10 years since former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) said the city really didn’t have a plan for relocating or feeding people.
But the images from that week remain raw, painful — and some of the most powerful images many of us will ever see in our lifetimes.