Now that your city is destroyed, commemorate it with a tattoo!

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Sean Jeffries never thought he'd feel so strongly about something that he'd permanently mark his body with a tattoo. But that was before he and a handful of friends were trapped in a city that spiraled into chaos following Hurricane Katrina.

Two weeks after being rescued by a caravan of buses led by the National Guard, he and two friends got small matching hurricane symbol tattoos in various shades of blue.

"We went through a lot," said Jeffries, a 38-year-old banker whose tattoo is on the upper portion of his right arm. "I'll probably never get another tattoo, but this one means something to me. I got it because it has meaning behind it."

Many survivors whose souls were scarred by Katrina are having images of hurricane swirls, crumbling buildings, names of the dead or broken hearts gushing floodwater indelibly etched into their skin.

"Katrina has moved people to do this more than anything else I've ever seen," said tattoo artist Jay Lyons, manager of Electric Ladyland Tattoos. "We're doing fathers and daughters together, older folks together. It's a lot of people who would have under any other circumstances not come in here."

Tattoo artists citywide say nearly a year after the hurricane that killed more than 1,577 Louisiana residents, as many as half of tattoo customers want storm-related images.





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