‘Are we ready to move on?’ Katrina and beyond, 12 years after the storm

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NEW ORLEANS -- Five years after what some call  the biggest manmade disaster this country has ever seen, the Presbytere opened the doors to its exhibit "Living with hurricanes, Katrina and beyond."

Combining eyewitness accounts, historical context, immersive environments and in-depth scientific exploration, "Katrina and Beyond" enables visitors to understand the 2005 storms, Katrina and Rita, and their impact on Louisiana, the Gulf Coast and the nation.

It is a story of how a culture – the rich, varied world of New Orleans and coastal Louisiana – has learned to live with the fragility of its environment and how the storms of 2005 gave rise to a new vision for the region.

Now, 12 years later, on this rainy anniversary of Katrina, do we want to keep dwelling in the destruction?

"Even 12 years later there's lessons to be learned from history and I think the exhibition helps us to ponder another question, which is, 'Are we ready to move on?' It's been now a dozen years, and we want to move forward and picture New Orleans for what it will become in the future," said museum director Steve Maklansky.

Throughout the galleries are compelling artifacts, including music legend Fats Domino's baby grand piano found in his flooded Ninth Ward house, a Coast Guard rescue basket and seats from the heavily damaged Louisiana Superdome, where thousands of people sought refuge and rescue. The objects serve as touchstones in recalling the days after the storm.

The museum costs just $5 to enter and is open year round.