Ten years later, some Katrina victims better, others "still stuck"

Saturday will mark 10 years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in the U.S. It ravaged the Gulf Coast and forced more than a million people from their homes.

No region felt the storm's impact like New Orleans, where nearly a thousand people died and more than 130,000 homes were damaged. "Sunday Morning"'s Tracy Smith revisited victims she met a decade ago, including some of the storm's smallest survivors.

Even before Katrina made landfall, little Kade Langsford and his family had been through hell.

"It's the worst thing as a father to see your baby in the hospital and not be able to help him," Kenny Langsford said.

His wife, Michelle, gave birth to twins 13 weeks premature. Only Kade survived, and at just over 1 pound, he was clinging to life in a New Orleans neo-natal unit when the monster storm hit.

"Windows were blowing in, tiles were coming off the walls, we had to strip the babies because it was so hot," Michelle said.

As the waters rose, Kade and 120 other babies had to be evacuated without their parents.

Michelle said she just snapped pictures of him as they wheeled him away.

katrinadad.png
Kenny Langsford
CBS News

After the longest 48 hours of their lives, the Langsfords were reunited, but like so many others in Katrina's path, their world was shattered.

"Everything we had: our jobs, nothing, we have nothing," Michelle said.

Now 10 years old, Kade is healthy and a pretty good basketball player. With insurance money and a loan, his parents built a new house north of town.

They feel like they've recovered.

Katrina displaced more than a million people along the Gulf, and thousands who tried to ride out the storm were plucked from their roofs by the Coast Guard.

Thousands more went to the Superdome and the city's convention center for help, only to find themselves stuck in filth and chaos.

The National Guard arrived five days after the storm.

Smith met U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore 10 years ago, five days after the storm. He told Smith then it took five days to reach survivors because they couldn't get there.

Now, he said the city is doing a lot better.

"The place is open for business, but we got work to do," Honore said.

He was charged with bringing order to New Orleans after the storm. Now retired, he's still dedicated to the city's revival.

"It's left the same people that were struggling before the storm -- the elderly, the disabled and the poor -- many of them are in worse shape than they were before the storm because at least they were in a city they loved," Honore said.

Dollie Owens is one of them. She refused to leave her elderly and ailing parents in New Orleans. When the hotel where they'd sought refuge flooded, CBS News helped them get out.

Today, in a way, Owens still doesn't know where she's headed and said she still hasn't recovered.

"I'm still stuck," she said.

katrinagrandma.png
Dollie Owens
CBS News

She lost her mother, Callie, in 2007. Her father, Solomon, died in 2012. Owens' uptown home, which cost too much to repair, is now for sale. The corner store her family owned and ran is now leased to someone else.

She said she can't go back to New Orleans.

"There's nothing to go back to," she said.

She rents a home in Baton Rouge now.

Granddaughter Jere is now 11 and lives nearby.

Jere doesn't think she would ever want to go back and live in New Orleans because she's been in Baton Rouge nearly her entire life.

Despite all she's lost, Owens has kept her family together. And with them, she'll always be home.

"Through it all, when I look at my children, my grandkids, they always gave me that real hope," she said. "That real hope that I'm going to make it."

Honore said the recovery effort is only half finished and the hardest work, that of preserving the culture and its people, will be an even greater challenge.

katrinafamily.jpg
Owens family
CBS News