NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- Two years ago, I rode out Hurricane Katrina at a hotel in the Central Business District of New Orleans. By mid-morning, many of the hotel's employees were talking to family members and friends in the Lower 9th Ward who were already on rooftops seeking help to get away from rising floodwaters. But it wasn't until later that night that I realized just how horrible the situation was.
On Monday night around 6 p.m., I went out with Tommy Evans, another "360" producer, and Mike Miller, a cameraman from Miami. We were chasing a tip that people were stuck inside City Hall when we ran into an officer who was patrolling that area. He told us about another area of the city where people were being rescued off rooftops and let us follow him to that location.
When I stepped out of the car on a bridge on I-10 overlooking Elysian Fields, I heard dogs howling and people screaming for help and I saw a family in a boat headed to the on-ramp. The fire department had set up some lights to help the rescuers. I couldn't believe that this neighborhood, which was not that close to the lake, river, or any canal, had about six feet of water in it.
I drove around that neighborhood yesterday. Blue tarps still cover holes in roofs where people used axes and any means possible to escape their homes. There is also progress. Many of the residents are returning and trying to rebuild their homes.
Every time I return to the New Orleans area with Anderson and the "360" team, I am amazed by the resilience of many of the residents. It's been two years since Katrina changed this city that I love. And while myriad businesses have re-opened and many residents have returned, there is still much work to be done.
-- By Kaye Jones, CNN Producer