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As Barry approaches, New Orleans residents debate evacuation

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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.

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