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As Barry approaches, New Orleans residents debate evacuation

NEW ORLEANS — Go or stay?

It is a question people in and around New Orleans ask themselves every time a threatening storm lurks in the Gulf of Mexico.

They asked it before Katrina, a major 2005 hurricane that devastated the area when levees failed.

And they’re asking it again with Tropical Storm Barry. Forecasters say Barry is unlikely to become a major hurricane, but could still bring historic levels of rain and devastating floods.

Residents who survived Katrina remember the heartaches and hardships that befell them — whether they fled their homes or rode it out.

Evacuees remember the deplorable conditions of the overcrowded Superdome that served as a shelter. Those who stayed put were forced to cling to rooftops as the record floodwaters swirled around them, sweeping some to their deaths.

Rebecca Santana, Kevin McGill And Janet McConnaughey, The Associated Press

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