Hurricane Katrina Survivor Looks Back, Eight Years Later


By Brittany Bivins

Thursday marks eight years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, devastating the city of New Orleans. After the storm, many families made their way to Alabama. Now some still call it home, and they're continuing to move forward.

Six years ago, we met Michael Angell, a portrait artist who moved to Alexander City after Hurricane Katrina destroyed her home and everything she owned.

Back then, she was selling portraits she paints in her living room. Today, Angell still calls Alabama home.

"I really love it. I can't thank Alabama enough for being here for us, after the storm."

She says she'll never forget the day she left New Orleans. "You felt energized by it, but still, you know, you knew what was behind the beauty."

The storm destroyed her home and force her to move hundreds of miles away. "I think I do feel sad that my life was interrupted and I can't ever recover it.""

Still, she's not sorry she came to Alabama. "I'm very happy that I wound up here, of all places. I never thought i'd wind up in a little town in Alabama."

The people here have welcomed her home.

"She's loving and she's giving and I think one of the things of our experiences with her is to bring the same qualities in the rest of us," said Martha Chapman, who goes to church with Angell.

Angell says she'll always miss the city she left behind. but she says the new orleans she loved just isn't the same.

"The New Orleans of today is not the New Orleans of yesterday. I can't go back and create everything that was there yesterday."

Today, though, she says she's glad she's found a new community to call home. Michael Angell says in the years we last talked to her, she's adopted a granddaughter and joined a pottery group at church, and she says she plans to remain in Alex City.

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