NEW ORLEANS — In trying to describe his constituents dealing with devastating floods, an Iowa Congressman makes a blanket statement about New Orleanians after Hurricane Katrina. He's now facing a wave of criticism, especially from the Crescent City.
The days after Katrina were dark.
"There were a ton of people who came into the French Quarter who had all basically swam from different neighborhoods," said Tierney Monaghan.
"The silence was deafening in the neighborhoods and I think that's what I remember," said Connie Uddo.
With nowhere to go and nobody to turn to, the kindness of others is what brought the city together.
"It looked like a nuclear disaster," said Uddo. "We really didn't have boots on the ground for Katrina, it was all of us doing it ourselves, shouldered with volunteers."
"I never saw anybody turn their back on a neighbor, stranger, anybody," said Monaghan.
Uddo, was just one of many who opened up her home to give neighbors and strangers shelter.
"We were being looked at like a third-world country," she said. "I don't know what I was doing, I'm just a resident but I have to start somewhere because if we don't do this, no one else is going to show up."
"I think about losing my home and losing my whole way of life," Monaghan said.
Monaghan, with her father, kept their bar 'Molly's at the Market' open to let people call whoever they needed to, get water and other items, and to save lives.
"There were people who came in and they were having some insulin troubles because they were diabetic," she said. "So we helped find medication and get medication brought in for them."
They're just two people, out of countless others, who have a story of survival. Which is why so many in this city call Congressman Steve King's comments absurd.
"He's just so dead wrong," said Uddo. "I would love for him to come here and I would love to drive him through the city and show him what we did on our own."
"Loss is loss," added Monaghan. "There's no right way to be a victim of a natural disaster."
When all seemed lost, the citizens of New Orleans had each other.
"I always say it was love," said Uddo.
People here were not the worst victims of disaster, but some of the toughest.
"I really think we saw a lot of the best of who we were when that happened," Monaghan said.