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Gayle King travels to Slidell, Louisiana, a town 50 miles outside New Orleans and one of the most devastated areas in the state. Eighty percent of the homes in Slidell are underwater. "It's so hard to explain what you see here. You know I've been watching the news non-stop like most people, but when you come and you initially see the debris and you take a look closer and you realize this is really somebody's life," says Gayle.

Gayle meets a family who barely survived the hurricane. They blocked windows with mattresses thinking they would be protected, but as the monstrous storm pummeled Louisiana, five feet of water came rushing into their home. To escape, they were forced to climb into the attic.

"Even though I heard all the numbers—seen all the stories—its even bigger than what you imagine it to be in person," says Gayle. "You look at this damage and you wonder how anyone made it out alive."
FROM: Oprah on Location from Mississippi
Published on September 07, 2005