Special Coverage: Hurricane Katrina


When the waters finally receded from Hurricane Katrina, life looked hopeless. An ugly gray sludge coated everything, mold “bloomed” everywhere. The smell was unbearable and unforgettable.

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In the decade following Aug. 29, 2005, United Methodist News Service made many visits to places wrecked by Katrina. Progress has been made and in 2015, after all the darkness, silver linings have begun to emerge. Churches have been rebuilt and ministries are stronger than before.

Hundreds of thousands of United Methodists took part in that recovery with their hearts, hands and money. Here are their stories of resurrection.

Ruth Moreno shows her brother, Lino, how to keep his hands warm as the sun rises behind them on the Santa Fe Bridge over the Rio Grande in Juárez, Mexico. They make the two-hour cross-border journey each school day to attend the United Methodist Lydia Patterson Institute in El Paso, Texas. ¬¬Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Mission reborn from Katrina’s destruction

From the depths of the 2005 hurricane that caused massive damage and suffering along the Gulf Coast, new United Methodist ministries arose.
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Jesús, a migrant from Michoacán state in Western Mexico, tries to shield his 1-year-old daughter, Kataleya, from a cold drizzle falling at the tent encampment where they are living at the foot of the Paso del Norte Bridge in Juárez, Mexico. The family, who fled their home due to street violence, has been living in the makeshift camp just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, for two months while waiting their turn to seek asylum in the U.S. Michoacán is among five states in Mexico given the highest-risk “do not travel” warning by the U.S. State Department. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News. 

Volunteers put lives, homes back together after Katrina

Epworth Project helps connects thousands of volunteers to homeowners who needed help after Katrina.
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U.S. Border Patrol agents run down a dirt road amid swirling dust stirred up by a helicopter during a search for people who had crossed into the United States illegally and were hiding in heavily wooded areas and sugar cane fields near McAllen, Texas. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.  

From Katrina to Detroit: New collaborations

Relationships strengthened and expanded through the Katrina recovery process have created a new normal for local disaster response.
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9th Ward church endures after Katrina

The 9th Ward has gone from the most populous ward in New Orleans to a ghost town, but Hartzell United Methodist Church endures.
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United Methodist free clinic arose from Katrina

A free clinic started by United Methodists after Katrina is now open two nights with expansion plans that include an eye clinic.
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The Rev. Irvin Boudreaux discusses recovery efforts at Brooks United Methodist Church in New Orleans in 2006 nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. 

Homeless shelter feeds bodies and souls

Hurricane Katrina destroyed Seashore Mission, but it has relocated and serves more than 200 meals, three days a week to the poor and homeless.
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The Rev. Irvin Boudreaux discusses recovery efforts at Brooks United Methodist Church in New Orleans in 2006 nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. 

Gulfside Assembly re-imagining future of historic site

Katrina hit just 16 days after Gulfside Assembly had celebrated opening the Norris Center, a $3 million building named for Bishop Alfred L. Norris. 
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The Rev. Irvin Boudreaux discusses recovery efforts at Brooks United Methodist Church in New Orleans in 2006 nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina. File photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS. 

Pretty on the outside, still broken inside

Not everything is fixed and not everyone has come home after Hurricane Katrina but the church connection worked.
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