I've lived in the NO area my entire life. I was in college at Tulane University when the storm hit. It changed my life. In a big way. I was living in an apartment in the city at the time. The night before we all realize that this was no normal storm coming, this one was different. My family and I quickly got a plan together to get ourselves to Texas, we had family to stay with in Corpus Christi. Got there, storm comes, we watch the city and area around it crumble before our eyes*. Within two days me and a few others in my family (mainly healthy men, elderly/children/sick stayed back) made it back to where most of them lived a bit north of NO. The city itself was still shut off from the outside world so we still didn't know really what things were like there. Where we were was no better though, the country outlying the area where my family lived was also cut off in it's own way. We had no cell service, no power, no water, no access to 911 or the fire department. There were no gas stations open and not even an FM or AM radio station still broadcasting. It was weird. There was no one willing to travel on public roads without a 4-wheeler, a chainsaw, and a shotgun. Too many trees in the road everywhere and too many looters trying to steal everything in the area, even far from the city...
After dealing with the immediate things we could deal with we went back to Texas and as a group stayed there for a couple weeks. I didn't leave. Tulane was still shut down so I went to A&M for a semester. Also weird. I walk into admissions and enrollment with no records of anything. No high school records (high school also in NO and shut down completely at this point) no college records. No way to even access a bank account at this point. So, they just told me to take what I thought I needed to take regardless of the pre-reqs, and gave me full tuition and books and room and board (I will forever be grateful for the people there at TAMUCC for making that part of the experience very pleasant). After all that and things have setlled down I return back to Tulane, in the middle of the first semester back (a week after the next tuition is due of course) they announce 'whoops, not enough funding left after reconstruction efforts, we are going to cancel all engineering curriculums'. This understandably pissed off a lot of people. (seriously, who gets rid of civil engineering right when the city probably needs them more than ever before in history). What this all meant to me was that now I had been to two different schools, about to have to jump to a third. None of these schools would accept all the credits and each wanted their own little courses here and there; thus took me 6 years with summers to get a B.S. Electrical Engineering degree without ever having failed a single class.
tl;dr: Katrina fucked up my life.
*I had tears starting when I wrote that, this experience will forever be exceedingly emotional to me to recall.