Mitch Landrieu, now the mayor of New Orleans, was lieutenant governor of Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit nearly 10 years ago. In an interview for the "CBS Evening News," Landrieu reflected on his experience during the storm.
"It was almost beyond imagination," said Landrieu. "This entire city was under water. As you know we lost 1,800 of our brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers."
Landrieu said New Orleans is still grateful for all the help that poured in from across the world during their time of need.
The devastation that followed the storm upended life for many in the city, but Landrieu said the people of New Orleans never lost hope that a recovery would occur.
"They took a minute to own and to be responsible for all of the things that were broken before the storm and said, 'You know what, we have a responsibility to build this city back to what we always dreamed she could be,'" said Landrieu.
But critics say the city's recovery has been plagued with inequality, pointing to a drop in black incomes and a spike in black unemployment and poverty. To those critics, Landrieu says those statistics were true before the storm and are true in other major U.S. cities.
"What we have done in the last 10 years is not promise to fix every ill that's in America, but fix the way we address them and the way that we deal with them," said Landrieu. "There is great progress that's been made - there's no question that we have a long, long way to go."
To hear Mitch Landrieu address the vulnerabilities still facing New Orleans, watch the video at the top of this page.