Salty waves from the bay crashed through the windows of Mike Murphy's home on Carol Avenue, destroying every keepsake and photographic reminder of his older sister.
But like many people here, memories seem invincible to any tidal surge.
Nancy Murphy's neighbors said Mike would drive up every morning, right on schedule, to check on his sister and visit over a cup of coffee.
Gay and Oren Lusich, who lived next door to Nancy, said the 86-year-old refused to leave her house for hurricanes, and Katrina was no different.
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Nancy's house and neighborhood took about six feet of water. The wheelchair-bound woman drowned inside.
"I'd make Nan a fruit salad, and bring over enough so she could freeze some of it," said Gay Lusich, Murphy's neighbor for more than 20 years. "She loved to make us angel food cake."
Murphy's brother said before Nancy's health declined, she loved to travel, touring the country and other parts of the world.
Nancy's life took her to many faraway places, but remembering trips together, closer to home, brings tears to Jo Ann Lagasse's eyes.
Photos of Lagasse's aunt were ruined when her own home was flooded, but recollections of springtime picnics and day trips to New Orleans are hard to wash away.