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Last Updated: Monday September 05 2005 18:26 GMT

Hurricane Katrina: Laura's diary

Newsround's Laura
Laura has travelled to the US with other members of the Newsround team to report on how Hurricane Katrina has affected the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

Click on a day to go straight to it's diary entry.

Monday, 5 September

Today was our last day in the area around New Orleans, and the whole experience has opened my eyes.

When I was about to set off, people told me the hurricane had made the Gulf Coast like South East Asia after the Tsunami. I had been to Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day disaster, and I didn't think it could be as bad as it had been there.

Not as many people have been killed by Katrina, but the devastation caused has still been terrible.

Seeing brick buildings destroyed and cars thrown around really brought home how bad the storm was.

You just don't expect to see this in richest country in the world, and I never thought the response would be so slow.

I can only hope New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast gets back on its feet soon.

Sunday, 4 September

We've now travelled hundreds of miles and everywhere we've been, it's been the same story - total devastation.

Basically, everything and anything that got in the way of Hurricane Katrina has been destroyed.

The real problem now is what to do with all the people who have been left homeless and without their possessions. Hundreds of thousands of people have nowhere to go.

Lots of people have lost their homes
In some cases, they are being bussed hundreds of miles away from their homes to totally different states to start new lives.

Children will be starting new schools without their friends and family in towns and cities they may never have heard of before.

It's going to take billions of pounds and a really long time to sort things out.

For an awful lot of people, life will never be the same again.

Saturday, 3 September

Today we are going to Baton Rouge in Louisiana, which is about one hour north of New Orleans.

Baton Rouge has been swamped by evacuees, so we don't know what we're going to find when we get there.

We're hoping to find a place to stay. We've stocked up on food and water and we've got our sleeping bags, so we're quite well prepared. We don't know if our phones will work when we get there.

Many places have not got any electricity or petrol. At some point, we'll need to stop for petrol, but we've been told that we might have to wait four or five hours for it.

Friday, 2 September

Homes are under water
We went to Biloxi in Mississippi, where there has been a lot of damage. It's a city on the coast that has a big fishing community and it's like a mini holiday resort.

The city was hit by a 10m-high wall of water. The scenes there reminded me of what I saw when I went to Sri Lanka after the tsunami.

Houses were destroyed, there were cars thrown on top of each other and trees which had been blown through windows.

Everywhere we walked, there were people's possessions on the street - children's toys, TVs, stereos and CDs.

It was really strange because hardly any people were about. Many of them left when they knew the hurricane was coming and even more have gone now the place is so badly damaged.

President Bush visited the area while we were there and many people we talked to were upset because they didn't think enough was being done to help them.

Thursday, 1 September

The Newsround team flew from London's Gatwick Airport to Cincinnati in the US state of Kentucky. It was an eight and a half hour journey.

After that, we boarded a small plane to Mobile in Alabama.

The three of us shared a room because there are hardly any hotel rooms in the three states which have been affected.

Hurricane Season




Hurricane Katrina

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