Katrina family still recovering after five years

By Amanda Hanson  - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The hurricane Katrina brought not just destructive winds, but also untold misery to thousands of people. Many lost their homes and had to make new ones elsewhere, some right where you live.

"Driving for 24 hours and then to get a phone call. I mean 12 feet of water, you knew that was it. What else was left...nothing," says Keywania Dienet. She says even after 5 years, the pain is still there.

"Katrina has ruined us in a way, with things that we'll never be able to get back," she says.

Sunday marks the day when their lives changed. "I did a 90 degree turn around. Nothing is the same. You know I don't have the same job, financially it's 100% different," Dienet explains.

Their home and all their memories...lost. "When I went home, all of the pictures were laid out on the lawn scattered, molded, and mildewed."

Since the devastation hit, Dienet says her health has gone down hill. She's had nine surgeries, six within the past year. "I hate to put my children through this, to see them see me suffer," she says, and they're struggling financially to stay afloat. "I can't go back home for a visit because again financially I can't go back home and see them."

But this past February her and her family got to make a trip back to the "who dat nation." "I said I don't care if we have to rob Peter to pay Paul, some kind of way I'm getting home for the superbowl," says Dienet.

And when the Saints beat the odds and became the superbowl champions.."That was the shining moment for the whole city because everyone forgot their sorrow. Everyone forgot their pain. Everyone was screaming "who dat" and so proud of them. It was like Katrina didn't exist," she said, but when reality sinks back in, so does the devastation. "I don't know if we'll ever get over Katrina. People still need help that's the biggest message," Dienet explains.

While she says they will always remember their roots, now Jonesboro is home, a place to make new memories. "We'll make our own traditions, we'll do something. We just need the help to get there, but I want to make traditions for them here," says Dienet.

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