Five years ago today, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf of Mexico coastline, displacing more than 250,000 people from Louisiana to Florida. The damage was catastrophic in New Orleans. The much-heralded levee system failed spectacularly and the rushing waters of Lake Ponchatrain engulfed much of the Crescent City. More than 1,500 people died in the days and months following the flood. Media coverage that followed was often criticized for its bias.
President Obama and the First Lady arrived in still-struggling New Orleans. Obama promised his Administration "is going to stand in the future with you until the job is done."
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ....
Never-seen-before aerial images document the morning after Katrina
Hundreds of N.O. residents marked the anniversary at an ecumenical service in Jackson Square.
Sandra Bullock returns to the high school she helped rebuild.
CBS News visits Plaquemines Parish, where Katrina first made landfall, "nearly wiping that place off the map. Tragically the first place hit has been the last place rebuilt. Before Katrina about 15,000 people lived on the Parish's east and south ends. Today it's about 3,500. Some low-lying communities look like ghost towns."
FEMA admits its mistakes. "'We were spending too much time going back and forth over procedures,' [Administrator Craig Fugate] said, adding that FEMA has learned to "focus on outcomes" since the Obama administration put him in charge of the agency, which was vilified for its slow response in Katrina's aftermath."
Watch the President's speech, news reports and personal stories AFTER THE JUMP