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Friday, May 24 2013 8:43 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:43:00 GMT
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Friday, May 24 2013 7:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:24:38 GMT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Some Hurricane Katrina survivors in Memphis spent the fifth anniversary of the tragedy in local churches giving thanks.
After the hurricane hit, a number of Mid-South churches opened their doors to evacuees who had nowhere to turn.
Sunday morning services at Mississippi Boulevard and many other churches included praise, worship and words of encouragement for the survivors.
"To be honest with you, it's almost like a miracle we got out," said Katrina survivor Nate Walker.
Walker and his wife lived in the 9th Ward. The day the hurricane hit, they found a side road and were able to drive out of New Orleans just ahead of the storm.
"What was amazing that is was a very risky decision because the roads could have been washed out, the bridges could have been down," Walker said. "But for some reason, and I'm not taking any bows for this, God led me on that road."
Walker also credits God for the outpouring of support his family received from Mississippi Boulevard and other churches.
Walker said when he first got to Memphis, World Overcomers Pastor Alton Williams took up an offering for him and other hurricane survivors during a Sunday morning service.
"And here's the very touching thing," Walker said, "children, older people, men, women, black, white, whomever was there, came up and reached into their purse ... and reaching into their pocket."
Walker said he has mixed feelings about the anniversary of the Katrina tragedy. He is happy to be living in Memphis, but said he was still concerned about the people still struggling in the hurricane's aftermath.
"It's really sad when you stop and think about people who raised families, generation after generation, and they go back and they see their house floating in the middle of the street," Walker said. "To not be touched by that is to be inhuman."