As the hurricane Katrina was wreaking havoc all over Gulf coast. Master Sergeant Mike Maroney was at the front lines of the rescue operations. He saved many lives that day, But it was one this one toddler, Leshay Brown, Who he would never forget. As she took Sergeant Into her embrace, Neither of them ever imagined in their wildest dreams what this hug was gonna lead them to.


Hurricane Katrina

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Hurricane Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters that has ever hit the United States. Many factors and events led to a complete change of landscape both physically and culturally in the Gulf Coast. Thousands of people, men, women, and children, were greatly affected by the storm, including LeShay Brown and her family. Luckily, her story has a happy ending.

A Storm Is Brewing


On August 25, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the Florida coast as a category 1 storm. With winds up to 80 miles per hour, Governor Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency. By the following day, Hurricane Katrina had picked up the intensity and was now considered a category 2. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco declared a state of emergency and the White House sent National Guard troops to the Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, no one could prevent the damage this storm would cause.

Katrina Heads To New Orleans

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The decisions made in wake of the havoc that Katrina was causing, seemed to be more harmful than helpful. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin started a voluntary evacuation of metro-area residents on August 27, 2005. But this seemed to incense the hurricane more, as it got classified as a category 5 just the next morning. The winds were a dangerous 160 miles per hour. 

Mandatory Evacuation Ordered


Not more than a few hours had passed before Nagin had to issue a mandatory evacuation for the residents of the New Orleans. He had to create makeshift shelters for the several displaced families. One such shelter was the city’s professional football arena – the Superdome – where an estimated 25,000-30,000 people sought refuge there. But not everyone could get to the arena in time and had to weather the storm in their homes. 

It Was Too Late


When the mandatory evacuation order was issued for New Orleans, it was too late for many to leave the city. Approximately one-fifth of the city did not have a car and was unable to flee. The Brown family was one of those families that were forced to stay in their home.



Once the storm passed through New Orleans, the city was completely devastated. Water filled the streets and homes of residents. Former U.S President George Bush declared an Emergency Disaster for the area. Sadly, 80% of the city was submerged in water with levels as high as 20 feet. Residents were angry and violence began. Officers were sent to the city to stop the violence as well as begin saving those that were stranded in the floods.