FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Patricia Porter and Wilfred Jackson moved to Fort Smith after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans on August 29, 2005.
The two did not evacuate before the storm devastated the city.
“It was a hard situation," Porter said. "We were homeless, we had nowhere to go."
Their homes and city were unrecognizable after the hurricane passed.
“It is a traumatic situation," Porter said. "We were left there for five days without any food or water, we were on our own."
Reports showed 127 mile per hour winds tore through the Gulf of Mexico and widespread flooding tore down levees.
“[There were] a lot of hopeless people,” Jackson said. “They did not know what their next move was going to be. They did not know where their next meal was going to come from. The group I was in, we slept under a bridge.”
Porter is now a minister and Jackson decided to enroll at University of Arkansas-Fort Smith shortly after.
“I got my GED,” Jackson said. “I got determined, went and got what I did not have in New Orleans. I did not have any intentions on going to college, so I went and applied.”
The hurricane killed nearly 2,000 people, but Porter and Jackson agree the spirit of New Orleans never dies.
“Katrina was a life changing storm,” Porter said.