Katrina survivors share what it’s like to start over after major flooding

MOKENA, Ill. --  Harvey continues to cause problems in Houston and the Gulf Coast, leaving thousands without homes and uprooting them from the only lives they knew.

It was almost 12 years ago today that Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans, forcing thousands to flee and families to start new lives in new cities. While the Cesrios make their home in Mokena now, it'd be easy to mistake it for one just off the bayous of New Orleans.

Pat Cesrio said they packed to be gone for three days like during past hurricanes, expecting they would be able to go back. But that all changed after the levees broke. And nothing prepared them for what they would see when they finally did make it back to New Orleans.

"As you're driving, you're wondering through your head, 'what's it going to look like when we got there;' it looked like a war zone," Pat's husband Jim Cesrio said.

Somehow their home made it through the storm, but their lives were changed forever. The decision was made to move the family to just outside Chicago, where Jim had family. Joey Cesrio was 16 - and his whole life changed in a matter of days.

"Coming up here, not knowing anyone; yeah, it was tough but there are such good people in the world today," Joey said.

Watching the devastation in Houston hasn't been easy, and knowing what's next is heartbreaking, the family said.

"It's just a scary thought just hearing the stories from [Joey] everything it breaks my heart to hear what they went through and what the people in Houston are going through right now, I couldn't even imagine," Joey's wife Kelly said.

The family said they're still big fans of the Saints and do head back down to New Orleans to visit friends and family.