recovery

There are a lot of stories to tell about New Orleans.

There are uplifting stories about new houses, new shops and gigantic drainage projects. There are melancholy stories about everything residents lost in Hurricane Katrina, about all that can never be recovered. There are stories about all that remains to be done, ten years after the hurricane and the levee failures.

And, throughout it all, there are love stories.

Want to hear one?

'It Was Still Mardi Gras'

In the 10 years since Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has nearly completed one of the world's most remarkable hurricane protection systems to encircle New Orleans. Locals say their low-lying city finally has the storm defenses it should have had before Katrina, which killed hundreds and caused billions in property losses.

Cypress trees in Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, stretching across Cameron and Evangeline Parishes in southwestern Louisiana.
Steve Hillebrand / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Hurricane Rita came ashore just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina, killing seven people directly and over a hundred more in the evacuation and in the storm's aftermath.

Ten years later, many residents of southwest Louisiana are feeling forgotten as the international media spotlight stays focused on New Orleans.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

Former President George W. Bush, whose legacy was marred by the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, visited New Orleans today to mark the 10th anniversary of the tragedy.

Bush and his wife, Laura, arrived Friday morning at Warren Easton Charter High School, where they met with students as well as New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Kathleen Blanco, who was Louisiana's governor when Katrina hit in August 2005.

WWNO 89.9 FM

A lot changes in 10 years. Here at WWNO, we’ve witnessed many transformations since the summer of 2005: we’ve expanded our format, started a local news department, and even won some awards.

None of that would have been possible without the memorable efforts of WWNO’s staff who kept the radio station running after Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed.

This is the long story of a short street: Schnell Drive, two blocks of brick homes in Arabi, La., just east of New Orleans in St. Bernard Parish.

When we first visited in the fall of 2005, Donald and Colleen Bordelon were often the only two people on Schnell Drive. They had stayed in their home through the storm and the flood, and through the weeks after when the first floor was still filled with water.

Food memories resonate from the post-Katrina experience in New Orleans. This offer of red beans and hospitality was displayed on a Mid-City home for months after the floods.
Ian McNulty

Sometimes a sound will bring it back, as random as loose siding beating against a wall, recalling a shredded city, or as overt as the diesel rumble of an army Humvee on city streets.

Even if you’re ready to close the door on Katrina and the levee failures, and plenty of us have, the persistence of sense memories may have other plans. It’s that vivid, involuntary recall of what we took in, and no matter where we managed to store it this stuff can come creeping back, even a decade later.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

St. Bernard Parish officials want to raise awareness of how the parish was affected by Hurricane Katrina ten years ago. The parish is holding its own Katrina 10 events this week, featuring art displays, public banners indicating the level of water the area took, parish first response offices, and visits to Army Corps of Engineers flood protection projects.

This week is filled with events marking the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Among them: a conference on the current state of Black New Orleans.

The three-day conference — hosted by the Urban League — kicked off with a town hall and panels focused on education.

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans today is smaller than when the storm hit, with 110,000 fewer people than the nearly half-million who had lived there. But the city's recovery is a story that varies with each neighborhood. In some neighborhoods, like the Lower Ninth Ward, many residents never returned. Others, like the French Quarter, have seen many newcomers and now have more households than they did in 2005.

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