A Family's Path from Ruin to Rescue

The floods hit the St. Bernard housing project in New Orleans' Seventh Ward with a determined fury. In desperation, says Randy Nathan, 20, trapped residents screamed at passing helicopters and set off firecrackers to attract attention. But no rescuers came. "We had to make a move," he says. "The water was rising. We had too many babies and my grandma."

In a week that heaped torment on top of tragedy, the deck seemed especially stacked against the Nathans. The 20-member extended family, including a newborn, a great-grandmother and a pregnant 22-year-old, fought its way out of the swamped housing project, only...

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