'It's Been Hell' In St. Bernard Parish

St. Bernard Parish, right next to New Orleans, is a largely blue-collar area that had to face not only Hurricane Katrina a year ago, but a large oil spill in the storm's aftermath, when a tank at a local refinery ruptured.

The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith went to the parish in the first few days after the storm, and just went back to see how the people are faring.

He found very little progress. As Smith put it, St. Bernard "doesn't even have a McDonald's open."

Many locals still line up every Tuesday for household essentials given out by volunteers.

Smith spoke with a woman torn apart by what floodwaters and oil did to her home, and her life. Linda Swider doesn't think she'll be able to rebuild. Smith said she feels "suffocated by red tape" from dealing with different levels of government.

"It's been hell," she said.

But Smith also found a man who is among the few who has been able to start rebuilding.

Smith observed that the ones hardest hit are older people without the energy to fight their way back.

To watch Smith's complete report, click here.
  • Brian Dakss

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