The Superdome in New Orleans has hosted heavyweight fights, papal visits, and — after this weekend — seven Super Bowls, an NFL record. But no event looms larger in the dome's history than Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that turned the stadium into a teeming shelter of last resort.
During the storm, reporters spared no hyperbole when describing scenes of human suffering. The Superdome, in particular, was described as a "hellhole" and "apocalyptic," and it was sort of true.
Deep inside the Convention Center, well away from the throngs of journalists that have descended on the city and behind a false wall protected by a security guard, is a group of tech-savvy people manning the Super Bowl Host Committee's social media command center.
With much of its crew of eighteen following along in a van, the blimp travels from site to site across the eastern half of the country by flying. It really only touches down for more than a few hours at a time once a year, to get a tune up at a hangar in Smyrna, TN.
The rest of the time, the blimp is above some of the most major sporting events in the country, including this year's Super Bowl here in New Orleans.
International ships call at the busy Port of New Orleans. It's a major shipping convergence point on the Mississippi River. Ships come upriver from the Gulf of Mexico with imports from abroad, and barges come downriver, bringing U.S. goods for export.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR
The Mississippi River is flowing at near normal levels again in New Orleans, as measured by this old-fashioned staff gauge behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District office. The Corps has been fighting saltwater encroaching up the mouth of the Mississippi because of the persistent drought.
BP has agreed to a $4 billion settlement of a criminal case filed by the Justice Department over the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A pending civil case could cost tens of billions of dollars more in penalties.
Federal court judge approves settlement of BP's criminal case.
A federal judge in New Orleans has approved a settlement of criminal charges filed against BP over its 2010 oil spill. The oil company will pay $4 billion and admit to manslaughter in the accident that killed 11 workers.