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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.

Denny Culbert

Okay Louisiana: what’s the Cajun band that’s also psychedelic rock, or maybe even a little punk? Hint: they’re from Lafayette, they were started by two brothers 16 years ago, and they’re a huge force behind younger generations embracing Cajun culture. Still not sure? Think: roaming around slow moving water.

In collaboration with Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Eve Abrams brings us this profile of the Lost Bayou Ramblers.

Mardi Gras is about ephemera, the thrill of the chase. In New Orleans, that's cajoling a strand of special glass beads or a glittered coconut from the hands of a stranger high up on a parade float. But the moment that trinket is nabbed, the recipient might think: Now what am I going to do with this?

Cajun Mardi Gras, however, in the small towns south and west of New Orleans, raises no such question. Because what you aim to catch is very useful. And edible.

It's a squawking, flapping live chicken.

On Rita Anniversary, Story Of A Small Town Comeback

Sep 24, 2014
Ed Lallo / Louisiana Seafood News

Wednesday marks the nine-year anniversary of Hurricane Rita's landfall in Texas, and the flooding of the Louisiana coast. Western parishes like Cameron, Vermilion and Iberia were hit hard. Plus, Rita added a whole new layer to the unprecedented damage of Katrina and the floods of just a few weeks prior.

Jesse Hardman / WWNO

The best way to understand Louisiana’s rapidly changing coastal map may be to look from above. That’s how you see the small highways headed south, slim like bony fingers, disappearing into a blue backdrop. What a map can’t express are the histories, hopes and desires of communities along the bayous of the Gulf Coast.