Carly Toole returned to Tulane University when classes resumed in January. She'll miss her new friends at Kenyon and regrets that she won't be able to play lacrosse, even though she practiced with the team throughout fall semester. But she feels drawn to New Orleans, and wants to be a part of the city's recovery.

Frankie Gourrier's parents have returned to New Orleans, but their move may not be permanent. His mother's employer, a judge in federal court, is putting Frankie's parents up at a hotel; their home is unlivable and they want to see how the city recovers before committing to returning for good.

Josh Flood's parents will not be going back to New Orleans. His and Frankie's families have called the Big Easy home for generations, but the devastation is too deep and the anguish too great. Josh's parents are moving to San Antonio, Texas. Their home in Orleans Parish will probably be bulldozed by the city.

Stewart Peck closed his Houston office in December, he and Katherine joining Renee in New Orleans for Christmas. Katherine's school in New Orleans announced it would reopen in January. Their home will not be habitable for months to come, so the family celebrated the holidays with all three of their daughters in their Uptown apartment. It was cramped, but after months of separation, the family welcomed being together.

Stephanie and James Irwin will stay in New Orleans in their home on the north shore. Except for the flooding in the basement, their home was largely spared. James, like many New Orleanians, believes the city will come back from this disaster, although probably much smaller than before. "There is some magic that has come out of this--the bonding, the commitment, the sacrifice," James says. "How do you bottle it and keep it? You can't. But you do realize who the people are that you want to have in the foxhole with you."