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In Long Beach, Mississippi, Sandra, a school principal, mother of two and pillar of the community, takes Lisa on a tour of what remains of her town's commercial area. Sandra explains that 95 percent of the city's businesses have been completely destroyed.

Next, Lisa and Sandra visit a typical neighborhood—including the spot where Sandra's house used to stand. Now, all that remains is the foundation. "All my husband and I could think about is, 'Where are my kids going to live?'" Sandra says.

The devastation is so severe—Sandra's once familiar home and neighborhood block are now completely unrecognizable. Pointing to her property, Sanda says, "One of the hardest things is I still have to make a mortgage payment on this every month."

What does Sandra want people to know about her town? "There are no restaurants open...there are no grocery stores open," Sandra says. "People don't know that even the areas that have been 'cleaned' or 'cleared' are still contaminated."

"I think everybody here feels forgotten," Sandra says.
FROM: An Oprah Special Report: The Katrina Stories No One is Telling
Published on February 21, 2006


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