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...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!