A James Madison University student is remembering his hometown Tuesday, on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. James Lee was born in New Orleans and lived there for six years.
It's hard for Lee to see the images once again. He took a trip to the Gulf Coast in March to see his family, but also to find out what was left of his hometown.
James Lee's family has lived in New Orleans for most of their lives. When Hurricane Katrina threatened their homes, they didn't leave. "They chose to stay, they really didn't have much place to go out of state, because their whole family is based there so they chose to stay," says James Lee. Lee went down to the Gulf Coast in March.
He says when he first saw the destruction, he was in shock. "There was just houses on top of houses, just destroyed and everything in the streets, it was amazing," says Lee. He helped rebuild three homes while he was there.
Lee knew he made a difference in one woman's life because of her reaction. "She was just so grateful, she had tears of joy running down here face, everyday that we were there, and her kids were there and we got to play with them and just to bring a smile to their face was just so amazing," says Lee.
Lee says there's so much work that still needs to be done, before his hometown will look somewhat normal. "You can see it on T.V. and you can see what happened, but it will not affect you, I don't believe until you go down there," says Lee.
Lee says his family members are living in FEMA trailers which are very cramped. He says he's planning to head back to the Gulf Coast in the Spring with his church group.