Ryan Kailath

Former Coastal Reporter

Ryan Kailath was a WWNO Coastal Reporter. 

An illustration from the Draft 2017 Coastal Master Plan, showing how many residential structures may be eligible for voluntary buyouts in specific areas.
Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

Under Louisiana’s new coastal "Master Plan", more than twenty-four hundred homes may be offered voluntary buyouts by the state. That’s because officials no longer believe these properties—more than a third of them on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain—can be protected from catastrophic storms and flooding.

The last unfinished Senate race of the election is nearly over.

State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy, a Republican, is the clear favorite to become the next Senator from Louisiana, despite an eleventh-hour fundraising surge from his Democratic opponent, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell.

Make Wetlands Great Again
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Louisiana spends heavily on building wetlands and levees to protect its eroding coast. Over the next three years, the state plans to put nearly $300 million into land-building alone. But as the true picture of sea level rise comes into view, officials may need to explore a less popular option: retreat from the coast.


This week on All Things New Orleans, Jesse Hardman visits the final shelter in Baton Rouge on its last day open, some two months after the August flooding. Tegan Wendland discusses problems with the Red Cross' recovery efforts with ProPublica reporter Derek Kravitz. NolaVIE's Brian Friedman discusses a new festival coming to the French Quarter, and Eve Troeh speaks with a community organizer about a new method for bringing investment to the Lower Ninth Ward.

On Friday, New Orleans received new flood maps from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Overnight, more than half the population moved out of the so-called high-risk zone.

But with half the city at or below sea level and memories of massive flooding after Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago, some residents are worried these new maps send the wrong message.

Orleans Parish is seeing its flood maps updated for the first time since 1984 today. More than half of the city is moving out of the so-called “high risk” zone—this comes with lower flood insurance rates, which many are celebrating. But in June, Tulane historian Andy Horowitz penned a controversial op-ed in the New York Times. He called these maps an “outline for disaster.” WWNO’s Ryan Kailath sat down with Horowitz this week to discuss.

 

 


Debris lines the streets of Denham Springs, Louisiana after severe flooding
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Tallying the fallout of the recent flooding in South Louisiana may take weeks or months. Beyond property damage to homes and businesses, there are also environmental costs—which some watchdog groups are measuring on their own.

 

 


Common Dreams

Tens of thousands in Louisiana were surprised by floods last week. In a changing climate, what more can be done to warn communities that the weather can do things they aren't used to?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A makeshift memorial at the commercial plaza where three Baton Rouge law enforcement officers were killed.
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and state law enforcement officials revealed more details about the events that led to the shooting deaths of three local law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge.

 


Jesse Hardman

WWNO's Ryan Kailath was arrested Saturday while covering a protest near Baton Rouge police headquarters. The event drew members of the New Black Panther Party. Police in riot gear engaged in a standoff with the group, during which Kailath was one of many arrested and charged with simple obstruction of a highway. WWNO's Eve Troeh spoke with him about what happened.

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