Katrina survivors in BK remember storm 2 years later

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT - Bedford-Stuyvesant residents marked the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Wednesday by paying tribute to 16 families that have settled in the borough.

Councilman Albert Vann and a group held the event at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. For the survivors who fled to Brooklyn, the anniversary of the storm that devastated the Gulf region brought back painful memories.

"It's just still hard," Joetta Rogers said while fighting back tears outside the church. "But it's nice to know that we still got people who love us."

Rogers and her husband fled Alabama after the storm destroyed their home. The American Red Cross gave the couple bus tickets to New York. About 32 hours later, the husband and wife settled in Brooklyn with little more than $1 between them.

Aileen Bodiwala also remembered the past. She said she had only been in New Orleans seven months when Katrina hit. Bodiwala and her then 14-year-old son fled, but her husband remained behind because he was recovering from brain surgery. Bodiwala's husband died and she said she hasn't been able to let go of the pain since.Councilman Vann said Brooklyn sponsors will continue to support the 16 families, who have since found jobs and housing. He estimates the group is among 250,000 people scattered across the United States after Katrina.

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